By Debbie Gregory.
The first American servicemember to lose his life in Syria has been identified as 42-year-old sailor Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton.
Chief Dayton was assigned to a bomb-disposal unit based in Virginia Beach, and was killed by an improvised bomb in northern Syria. He was killed in Ayn Issa, a town halfway between Raqqa and the Turkish border.
Dayton was returned to the U.S. Sunday night in a dignified transfer at Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base.
The U.S. has been in the region to assist in organizing an offensive against the Islamic State. American warplanes have been bombing targets inside Syria to aid tens of thousands of militia fighters as they try to expel the Islamic State from Raqqa.
More than 300 members of the United States Special Operations Forces are also in Syria to help recruit, train and advise the Kurdish and Arab fighters who are trying to retake the city.
Chief Dayton was serving with Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve and was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two.
Chief Dayton enlisted in the Navy on Feb. 17, 1993, and received 19 awards, including the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, seven Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, two Iraq Campaign Medals, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Dayton’s death is a reminder as to how volatile and deadly the campaign against ISIS is.
We at MilitaryConnection.com join a grateful nation in offering our deepest condolences and sympathies to Chief Dayton’s family, loved ones and friends.