On Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 6 Marines from the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 469, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Installations Pacific, died in a helicopter crash in Nepal while assisting in earthquake-recovery efforts. On June 3, at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, family, friends, and fellow Marines gathered to pay remember and bid farewell the Marines.
"Our Marines gave their lives so that others might live," said Lt. Col. Edward W. Powers, commanding officer of HMLA-469, at the ceremony. "They gave their lives for the suffering of countless Nepalese to be eased...Weather was deteriorating that afternoon, but our Marines pushed on regardless, fearlessly executing their mission."
The Marines involved in the crash were:
- Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, 29, of Harlan, Nebraska
- Capt. Christopher L. Norgren, 31, of Sedgwick, Kansas
- Sgt. Ward M. Johnson IV, 29, of Seminole, Florida
- Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, 30, of Riverside, California
- Cpl. Sara A. Medina, 23, of Kane, Illinois
- Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, 22, of Maricopa, Arizona
Two Nepalese soldiers were also killed in the crash.
Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 469 conduct a 21-gun salute during a memorial service aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, June 3. (Marine Corps photo)