WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Major Caine Goyette was the pilot of a military plane that crashed in Mississippi on Monday.
He was also the highest ranking officer in his unit.
“I can’t believe he’s that man on that plane that isn’t coming back,” Russ Mahoney, a close friend, said.
Russ is still in disbelief days after his lifelong friend Major Goyette was killed in the crash.
“Seeing his picture, knowing you can’t talk to him again, it just doesn’t seem like it’s a reality.”
Russ’s friendship with Major Goyette started back at home in Waterford.
His dad J. Bert Mahoney remembers them running around in the streets.
“He was one of the boys that grew up right on the block.”
In 1994, Major Goyette joined the Marines after graduating from Waterford-Halfmoon High School.
He then went on to graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2002.
It was after college that he got into his military career, in the same unit as Russ out of Newburgh.
“He led the path that I would have loved to lead. I looked up to what he did with his life and his military career,” Russ said.
He rose to his rank of major in 2012 and over the years received many awards and honors for his service.
To Russ and Bert, this was no surprise.
“He had the mold to become a Marine Corp officer and lead other men and have them follow.”
“He was squared away. He was a Marine,” Bert said.
Through it all, he put his life on the line. In the past year, Major Goyette was getting ready to retire.
Unfortunately, this won’t happen and Russ says this isn’t fair.
“It just doesn’t seem real you know that 20 years have gone by and he’s at the end of his career and now he’s gone,” Russ said.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.