Jackson couple Carl and Rosemary Terry choked back tears tonight as they rumaged through their only pictures of their grandson, Airforce pilot Jeff Haney.
The couple and the rest of Haney's family are greiving his loss tonight after Airforce officials say the search in Alaska has been called off. Search teams found Haney's pilot seat still inside the F-22 Raptor. It had never been ejected. An airforce spokesman said there is no possibility Jeff could have survived the crash.
"We had hope. We hoped he would be out there somewhere," said Haney's grandmother Rosemary
Losing a granchild has been the most heartbreaking and shocking experiences of their lives, they said.
"I cry a lot. I remember him and I can't help it. We have eighteen granchildren and each one is special. We will miss him," said Rosemary Terry as she wiped tears from her eyes.
"I wake up in the middle of the night and it's hard to get back to sleep. It's just not something you can forget," said Carl.
The Jackson couple said Haney was a reserved but active person who loved sports. He played football and liked to golf. Because Haney wasn't especially ambitious in academics, his grandparents said the family was so proud when he decided to become a pilot. Rosemary said Haney was a wonderful husband and father.
"When he came home from work, the kids were his focus. His wife Anna told me that he helped put them to bed. He was always playing with them and they'd crawl all over him," said Rosemary.
Haney is survived by nearly 40 family and extended-family members including his wife and two daughters. 5-year-old Ava and 2-year-old Stella Rose were told their daddy is in heaven, said Rosemary.
"He will be missed. He added a lot to the family. We really enjoyed him," said Carl.
Rosemary and Carl say their family of five generations remains very close and will lean on each other for support.
The "Air Warrior Courage Foundation" has set up an education fund for Capt. Haney's two young daughters. The military memorial service for Haney will be held Monday in Alaska.