On the morning of March 3, 2021, LtCol Michael Abajian passed away at Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital in Kerrville, Texas as a result of natural causes. He was born on November 11, 1943 at Randolph Army Airfield, San Antonio, TX, the son of Captain Edward and Juanita Abajian. LtCol Abajian was awarded a regular officer commission upon graduation from Southwest Missouri State University and completion of the United States Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class. He was designated a naval aviator on April 28, 1967. Then, First Lieutenant Abajian, deployed to Vietnam and flew the UH-34D helicopter with Marine Squadron HMM-363. Following his first tour in Southeast Asia, he transitioned to jets and deployed back to Vietnam piloting the A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft with VMA-211. LtCol Abajian earned a combined total of 35 air medals for over 700 combat missions flown in Southeast Asia. It is worth noting that he was in the last flight of Marine A-4s to fly a strike mission in Vietnam. (He may have been the last A-4 pilot to drop ordinance in Vietnam during the conflict.) After the war, LtCol Abajian joined the first Marine aviators to fly the Hawker Siddeley AV-8A Harrier with VMA-231 and VMA-542 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, NC. Another point of interest: Then, Captain Abajian, designed the distinctive fin flash painted on the rudders of VMA-542 Harriers. (He fashioned the design after the green and white "tiger stripe" that graced his personal flight helmet.) In the mid 1970's, LtCol Abajian transitioned back to the A-4 Skyhawk and joined Headquarters & Maintenance Squadron 12 in Iwakuni, Japan. He assumed command of H&MS-12 while, most notably, flying Cold War combined arms training and Soviet/North Korean air defense surveillance missions in the OA-4M variant of the Skyhawk. Upon relocating back to the United States, LtCol Abajian assumed the position of logistics officer for the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, New Orleans, LA. He continued to fly the A-4 Skyhawk while assuming command of Marine Aircraft Group 42 at Naval Air Station Memphis, TN. LtCol Abajian assumed command of Marine Aviation Training Support Group 90, NAS Memphis. He, subsequently, retired from the United States Marine Corps on July 21, 1988 with 25 years of service. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Mike Abajian embarked on a 22 year commercial airline career. His entry into civilian flying found him piloting BAE Jetstream 31 turboprop airliners fir a USAir commuter. In 1989, Mike was hired by Britt Airways (which, soon after, became Continental Express Airlines) to pilot the EMB120 turboprop airliner. In short order, First Officer Abajian progressed to Captain and then Instructor/Check Airman. Ultimately, Captain Abajian assumed the position of fleet manager, where he directed the training program for EMB120 pilots. In 1997, Continental Express took delivery of the first EMB145 regional jets to operate in the United States. Captain Abajian, as initial fleet manager and FAA designated examiner, was tasked with the development of pilot training for the type. He spent the next 15 years working diligently with his fellow line pilots; check airmen; and, the FAA to maintain the impeccable safety and reliability record of the EMB145. In public life, Mike Abajian, the Marine Officer and the Airline Captain, was known for his professional demeanor, technical knowledge, and ability to lead. He has been described, often, as "firm but fair". He was an advocate for, and truly loved, his fellow Marines and, both, military and civilian aviators. In private, LtCol Mike Abajian was a loving father and husband. He was a scholar of history and a die hard romantic. He expected the most and forgave the most. He had a personal relationship with God. He had a special bond with his dogs. He will be missed by many.... LtCol Abajian will receive full military honors at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery on March 22, 2021 at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Make a Wish Foundation and the USO in LtCol Michael Abajian's name.