Bunce upon a time; the story of a pilot’s dream come true

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Story by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

Date: 02.06.2013
Posted: 02.11.2013 16:36
News ID: 101820
Bunce upon a time; the story of a pilot’s dream come true

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Some people go through life not knowing exactly what it is they want to do when they grow up. This was not the case with 1st Lt. Jamie Bunce.<br /> <br /> “Ever since I was little and saw my first air show, I’ve wanted to fly aircraft,” said the Arvada, Colo., native. “The fact that humans can fly has always fascinated me.”<br /> <br /> Bunce, now an MV-22 Osprey pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, kept this dream with him all throughout his young life into adulthood.<br /> <br /> “He always seemed mature for his age and knew what he wanted in life,” said Mali Bunce, his mother. “He started speaking and reading early; he always seemed confident. [Jamie] would watch someone do something until he thought he had it perfect in his mind, then he would do it and did it well.”<br /> <br /> This attention to detail and dedication to perfecting whatever it was he put his mind to would soon play a major deciding role in his life. <br /> <br /> “After Sept. 11, when [Jamie] said he wanted to join the military, I didn’t really want him to go,” said Mali. “At the time, I knew the military fairly well; I had had family in the service. I could see those military traits in him already. He liked to lead, and be in control of a situation.”<br /> <br /> After graduating high school, Bunce joined the United States Naval Academy where he studied Economics until graduation. However, he really wanted to chase his dream to fly.<br /> <br /> Bunce checked into his flight school in Pensacola, Fla., in January 2010 and earned his wings in June 2012. <br /> <br /> “[School] was very interesting, because every six months you switch to a different aircraft to train in,” explained Bunce. “I learned all kinds of interesting facts about one aircraft, then switched and had to relearn another one.”<br /> <br /> “Bunce was a huge asset to the morale of the students,” said former classmate Capt. Cory Frederick, an Osprey pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363 and a Baltimore native. “Whether flying in the simulators and any other kind of event, there was never a dull moment with him. I mean that in a positive way, because he always had something funny to say.”<br /> <br /> The two have flown linked simulators, meaning they flew two separate simulated aircraft for the same kind of training at the same time.<br /> <br /> “Flying in the linked simulators together was a great time,” said Frederick. “He takes flying as a passion, never as a job, and he keeps everything balanced. He’s a great friend, Marine and from what I can tell, a good pilot.” <br /> <br /> Since joining the fleet only seven months ago, Bunce has performed multiple missions and already found his favorite. <br /> <br /> “I love the turf missions,” said Bunce. “I love flying low, close to the landscape -- where there is always something going on. You have to avoid obstacles like mountains and terrain. It makes the whole flight that much more interesting for me.”<br /> <br /> Bunce said he truly is living a dream.<br /> <br /> “Every day I wake up and get to go to something I love,” he said. “When I talk to my friends and family, I love answering their questions about what I do. I love talking about flying and the Marine Corps. I couldn’t be happier.”