Fort Myers father speaks after Marine son goes missing

Reporter: Corey Lazar
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Tim Jardas is grieving over the disappearance of his son, 22-year-old Cpl. Thomas Jardas, after two Marine helicopters crashed off the coast of Hawaii last week.

Rescue crews say they have found four life rafts in their search, but so far, there is no sign of Cpl. Thomas Jardas or the other 11 missing Marines.

“I would trade places with my son, I would gladly trade places with my son,” said Tim Jardas. “It is the most awful feeling you could ever have in your life.”

Officials say the helicopters crashed off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii during a night-time training exercise. Jardas has been a Marine for three years and only had a year left in the service before joining the police force.

“Everybody liked him, he like likable,” said Tim Jardas. “He was handsome, he was over 6 feet tall, at 16 I had to look up to him. He is as good of a kid as any dad could ever hope to have.”

Tim Jardas says they think about all the other families also grieving and has made it his life mission to help those coming back from oversees.

“It is an awful thing what we have let happen to the service members who come back. They are maimed physically and mentally and not all of them are getting the attention they need.”

Now, all Tim Jardas has to look at are pictures of his 22-year old son, while he continues praying that ‘Tommy’ will come home.

“It is the most God awful sound I have ever heard in my life, the knock on the door and I about collapsed when you see the two Marines at the door. It is about all a parent can take.”

Tim Jardas says he is getting daily updates from the Marine Corps.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.