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Memorial service held for Tinker Airman

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- A memorial service was held at the Tinker Chapel Nov. 25 for Senior Airman Donovan White from the 963rd Airborne Air Control Squadron.

Airman White, 22, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Veterans Day.

The chapel was filled with family and friends, there to say their final goodbyes and to comfort one another.

The eulogy was given by his friends Senior Airmen Walter Minton and Maegan Phillips and his commander, Lt. Col. Tony Alvarado.

Senior Airman Minton was Airman White's best friend. They met at Beale AFB, California, before being deployed together to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where they were roommates for six months.

"I really miss him," said Airman Minton. "He lit up the room. He was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He was no fair weather friend."

Airman Phillips remembered Airman White as a great friend. "I was having a hard time, was angry and frustrated and he came and listened," she said. "I'll always treasure his friendship."

Colonel Alvarado said Airman White was a happy guy, so it would be a disservice to him to be sad. He talked about three lessons everyone could all learn: the fragility of life, rethinking your legacy and the privilege of serving.

"Living is a gift," said Colonel Alvarado. "To the 20 year olds: You're not bulletproof. You're serving your nation, so take care of each other."

He reminded everyone to rethink their legacy and how they wanted to be remembered.

"Donovan lit up a room. He was awesome in uniform and out," the colonel said. "He touched so many lives and left his spiritual name tag on everyone's hearts."

Colonel Alvarado also talked about meeting Airman White's family and how proud they are of him. "Everyone wants freedom, but few people will pay the price defending the nation," he said.

Chaplain (Capt.) Stephen Hicks said everyone has struggles.

"Good and bad things happen to all -- death does not discriminate," he said. "Life is not perfect, not a game, but life is to be shared. It is an opportunity to make an impact when others share themselves with you.

"Make the most of little moments that make life worth living," said the chaplain. "His story is now imprinted in our stories. Be grateful for the gift of his life on ours."