Bryan C. Jack
Hometown: Alexandria, Va., USA
Occupation: Budget analyst/director of the programming and fiscal economics division, Defense Department
Location: Passenger, American Flight 77, Pentagon
"We were together for 15 1/2years before we finally got married. Bryan for years had said we ought to get married, but I was very non-traditional. We finally did on June 16, 2001. We were married a grand total of 87 days. Bryan was wearing his ring when he was killed. I was contacted by the Army and told that certain items had been recovered from the crash site. If there was one thing I hoped they would recover, it was that ring. It was a one in a million chance." --Barbara Rachko, wife
Bryan C. Jack was responsible for crunching America's defense budget. He was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, bound for official business in California when his plane struck the Pentagon, where, on any other day, Jack would have been at work at his computer.
Carla Tighe, a fellow Pentagon economist, said Jack was a brilliant mathematician and top budget analyst who translated policy decisions by the defense secretary into hard numbers. Colleagues wondered yesterday how they would fill the personal and professional void.
"He was so mathematically gifted," Tighe said. "We're still reeling with how we compensate for what he did."
Jack, a Texas native who graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1974 and from Stanford Business School, headed the Defense Department's programming and fiscal economics division. "He was really responsible for overseeing the capital budget. . . . He added it up and made sure it totaled up to the right number, which is much more complicated than it sounds," Tighe said.
The budget guru was also known for making a mean pecan pie for Christmas parties, colleagues said. And just weeks ago, Tighe said, Jack married his longtime companion, Barbara Rachko, an artist.
-- Michael Laris
Source: The Washington Post, AP and washingtonpost.com
The profiles in this feature were written in the months following Sept. 11, 2001.
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