Capt. Scott Pace was flying a routine helicopter patrol when he heard a ground unit was under Taliban attack. He rushed to assist his fellow soldiers. Although many lives were saved, Pace’s helicopter was shot down and he became a “Fallen Angel.”
Pace, a former BYU student who transferred to West Point, was honored by the BYU Army ROTC on Feb. 22 for making the ultimate sacrifice for his country on June 6, 2012. Pace is remembered as a good soldier who cared for the well-being of his soldiers and had a strong faith.
Patrick Pace, Pace’s father, has received cards and notes from people who have known Pace over the years.
“I have been impressed with how many lives he touched and had no clue,” Patrick Pace said. “I think sometimes we go through life and don’t realize the impact we can have. He would be amazed at the impact he had on people.”
Alana Klase met Pace in Ft. Bragg, N.C., where Pace was the troop commander. Klase said he had an easygoing style and was quick to smile. She was impressed at the way Pace allowed his soldiers to think for themselves instead of micro-managing their work.
Klase was deployed to Afghanistan with Pace and his team. While stationed there, Klase became ill. As she recovered, Pace made a point to stop by and check on her regularly.
“He was very much about everyone else, trying to do right by everybody else,” Klase said. That kind of genuine concern for each soldier is part of Pace’s legacy.
Klase eventually learned that Pace was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and began asking him questions about his religion. Pace was never pushy with Klase, letting her study and ask questions.
“We would talk about what I had read and what it meant,” Klase said. “He would give me a little more background.”
As Klase continued to study, Pace was available to answer questions that might stump others. Klase was baptized shortly before Pace’s accident and will always remember their friendship and Pace’s example.
Capt. Jeffrey Timmons met Pace when the two entered flight school together. Although the two did not work together, they knew each other through church and played basketball together regularly. Timmons described Pace as a humble man who never wasted words.
Timmons recognized the strength of Pace’s testimony. As soldiers, it is important to find that strength to deal with the ugliness of war.
“All of Satan’s powers are on display in the throes of war,” Timmons wrote in an email. “Many are deeply affected by all this. Scott seemed to be invincible to it. Truly his testimony was armed with the whole armor of God. He represented the best of a righteous man amidst horror and wickedness.”
A few days before Pace’s helicopter was shot down by enemy fire, he spoke in church about the importance of the Holy Ghost. Pace recounted an experience in which he was inspired to take an unusual action that possibly saved many lives.
“We find ourselves in these situations and some would ask, how can you expect to have the Spirit?” Pace wrote. “I ask, how can you not plead for the Spirit ahead of time? It is that consistency of living a Christ-like life and seeking the Spirit that will help us develop our spiritual senses.”
Pace’s name was added to the Wall of Heroes in Memorial Hall on Feb. 22.