05/10/05 — Father relieved to learn son is safe

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Father relieved to learn son is safe

By Turner Walston
Published in News on May 10, 2005 1:48 PM

Ken Plummer was half-asleep in front of his TV Saturday night when he heard what sounded like his son's name mentioned by a newscaster describing a helicopter crash.

Plummer's son, Chris-topher, is an Army major deployed to Afghanistan. The broadcast said a Christopher Plummer was one of two men killed in the crash of an Apache helicopter Thursday.

The elder Plummer immediately assumed the worst.

"I was listening at it and heard something about Afghanistan and two dead, then Christopher Plummer," said the elder Plummer, himself an Air Force veteran.

"When they first announced it, they didn't give his rank," Plummer says. "I thought surely they'd have called the family before they let anything like that loose."

When Plummer realized the crash took place in Lee County, and not Afghanistan, he said he was somewhat confused, but relieved.

As it turned out, the Christopher Plummer killed in the crash was a National Guard lieutenant from Miami.

"For a very short period of time, it was tough," Plummer said. "It was emotional."

Plummer said he began calling friends and family when he realized that it was not his son who had been killed.

"Plummer is not that common of a name to begin with," he said. "The only other Christopher Plummer that I'd heard of is the actor."

The father said he worries about his son every day.

"Really, every time the phone rings, it jars me. I don't know if it's going to be the war department. In a situation like that, you just got to keep hoping it never happens."

Maj. Christopher Plummer specializes in the M1A1 tank, his father said.

"He's in some pretty fierce fighting over there in Afghanistan. It worries us."

Plummer says his heart goes out to the family of the lieutenant killed in the Lee County accident.

"That was just horrible," he said.

"It's really an amazing coincidence in many ways," Plummer said. "Just the name and the fact that it was so close."