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Lone survivor returns to A&M for final semester one year after deadly plane crash

Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 23:17:31-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly plane crash at Coulter Airfield in Bryan claiming the lives of David Walker, Tamera Walker, and Victoria Walker.

One year to the day, Lone Survivor, Luke Armstrong, returned to Texas A&M University for his last and final semester as an Aggie.

“I think it's nothing short of a miracle that the last year, you know in review has gone by, as well as it has," said Armstrong. "And also the fact that today is the one-year anniversary of the crash as well as my first day of class, I think that's kind of perfect poetic cosmic justice that God was looking out for me on that one. He’s been looking out for me a lot lately.”

After months of extensive rehab and determination, Luke has defied the odds. He is physically back to 100 percent but most importantly, he is back in Aggieland.

“I'm ecstatic. I mean it's, waking up every day with a smile on my face, you know," said Armstrong. "It’s where I love to be, I love Texas A&M. Can't wait to beat the hell out of Kansas State on Saturday, and get back into football season, yell practice Friday at midnight, you know definitely ready to get back in and go whole heart for my last semester of school. I am just over the moon with joy and positivity about being able to be back here.”

While Luke is excited to be back, he continues to think about the first responders that played such a pivotal role in him being here today.

“For them, it was another Sunday shift where they had to cut me out of the plane and get me off to the hospital," said Armstrong. "For the surgeons, you know, it was just surgery, and for me, it's this life-changing thing but I just ... I can't thank them enough, they'll never buy a beer when I'm around, I'll say that much."

As he strolls down Military Walk this semester, what it means to be a part of The Aggie Family has a much deeper meaning.

“You know, they talk about the Aggie family, and the Aggie network, but I've seen it, and I've lived it firsthand. It, perfectly summarizes what they say that 'From the outside looking in, you can't understand it but from the inside looking out, you can't explain it.’ It's just amazing."

In less than four months, Luke will walk across the stage with a bachelor's degree in construction science.

“I’ll be seeking employment in the construction industry as a project manager in Dallas," said Armstrong. "I have a couple of different companies that I've interned with in the past that I'm already in communications with. The career fair is right around the corner, I think it's two weeks from Wednesday, and so I’m excited for that excited to see where it goes."

Luke spent one month in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph Health in Bryan before being transferred down to TIRR Memorial Herman in Houston. After just two and a half weeks he returned home to the Dallas area to continue outpatient rehab at the Centre for Neuro Skills.

The cause of the August 30, 2020 crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.