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MARSOC Team & Flight Crew Lost in Tragic Accident
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 7 Marines from the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and 4 soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard died in a helicopter crash during a training exercise off the coast of the Florida Panhandle. The UH-60 Black Hawk, out of Eglin Air Force Base, was one of two involved in the exercise, which was plagued by heavy fog and very limited visibility.
All of the Marines involved in the crash were part of 2nd Special Operations Battalion. They were:
- Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol, 27, of Warren, Michigan
- Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, 29, of Lake Orion, Michigan
- Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn, 33, of Queens, New York
- Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp, 27, of Port Washington, Wisconsin
- Master Sgt. Thomas Saunders, 33, of Camp Lejeune
- Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif, 26, of Holland, Michigan*
- Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III, 31, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey
The Soldiers involved in the crash were:
- Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Wayne Griffin, Jr., 37, of Delhi, Louisiana
- Chief Warrant Officer 4, George David Storther, 44, of Alexandria, Louisiana
- Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron, 40, of Thibodeaux, Louisiana
- Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich, 26, of Alexandria, Virginia
*Seif had received the Silver Star, the Marine Corps third highest medal for valor, four days before the crash.
The members of the MarineParents.com community, volunteers, staff, and directors, offer our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of these Marines, as well as to the MARSOC and Marine Corps communities as a whole, during this difficult time. This is a stark reminder of the sacrifices made and dangers faced by our military personnel on a daily basis as they defend our nation and our freedom around the world. While they may no longer be here in body, the spirit and memory of these American heroes will live on in all those who knew and loved them.