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Military Connection: All Black Hawk Crash Victims Identified

Fallen

By Debbie Gregory.

The identities of the service members killed in the March 10thhelicopter crash in Florida’s Santa Rosa Sound have been released to the media.

The service members lost their lives when a Black Hawk Helicopter went down during a nighttime training exercise off the coast of Florida’s Panhandle. Four of the victims were the helicopter’s pilots and crew, members of the Louisiana National Guard. The remaining seven were passengers from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The names of the seven Marines were released on March 13th. The fallen Marines have been identified as:

  • Captain Stanford Henry Shaw III from Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
  • Master Sergeant Thomas A. Saunders, originally from Bonn, Germany.
  • Staff Sergeant Marcus S. Bawol of Warren, Michigan.
  • Staff Sergeant Trevor P. Blaylock from Lake Orion, Michigan.
  • Staff Sergeant Liam Flynn, originally from Reading, England.
  • Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp, originally from Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Staff Sergeant Andrew C. Seif from Holland, Michigan.

The names of the four members of the Louisiana National Guard were released on March 16th. The two pilots and two crew members were identified as:

  • Chief Warrant Officer George Wayne Griffin Jr. of Delhi, Louisiana.
  • Chief Warrant Officer George David Strother of Alexandria, Louisiana.
  • Staff Sergeant Lance Bergeron of Thibodaux, Louisiana.
  • Staff Sergeant Thomas Florich of Fairfax, Virginia.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. The incident is still under military investigation by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, out of Fort Rucker, Alabama.

At MilitaryConnection.com, we celebrate the service of our men and women in uniform, and mourn the loss of the fallen. Our staff would like to send our heart-felt condolences to the families, friends and comrades of the fallen from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion and the Louisiana National Guard.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: All Black Hawk Crash Victims Identified: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Gold Star Fathers Act: By Debbie Gregory

gold starOn September 10, 2014, the U.S. Senate passed legislation which gives the fathers of service members who were killed in action or permanently and totally disabled the same hiring preferences for federal employment that has already been granted to mothers of the fallen and widowed spouses who remain unmarried.

Mothers of service members killed in action have historically been called “Gold Star Mothers.” During World War I, women began wearing blue stars around their left arm to display their pride for their deployed family member. Most women wore their blue stars for husbands and sons. Over the course of the war, the women petitioned to be able to sew a gold star over their blue star after their loved one was killed in action.

A non-profit organization was eventually founded by these women. “Gold Star Mothers” have rightfully earned the sympathy, respect and consideration of the nation. There’s a Gold Star Mother’s Day, celebrated on September 28th.

The Gold Star Fathers Act of 2014 was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is a senior member of the Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs.Sen. Brown got the idea for the legislation after meeting Scott N. Warner, whose son Heath, a U.S. Marine, was killed in Iraq. Warner wrote “Gold Star Father” as a way to deal with the struggle of coming to terms with his loss, and how he and his family coped with and overcame this tragedy.

The legislation is heading to the House, where a similar proposal was introduced last year, and has since won the support of the American Gold Star Mothers Inc.

The total number of American deaths from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is close to 7,000. The significance of this gesture should show resounding support for both gold star parents.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Gold Star Fathers Act: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: U.S. Army Mourns 3 Fallen: By Debbie Gregory

3 Fallen soldiersWhile the focus of military/Veteran minded Americans has been on VA reform, Military budget cuts and Veterans transitioning back into civilian life, it is important to remember that while war continues, the lives of those who serve are still in peril. The ongoing loss of American lives serves to remind us of this fact.

On Thursday, July 24, 2014, two U.S. Army soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Additionally, another soldier died stateside from an illness linked to his deployment in Afghanistan.

The three deceased soldiers have been identified as:

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Prange, 30, from Hickam, Nebraska

Pfc. Keith Williams, 19, from Visalia, California

Pfc. Donnell Hamilton, 20, from Kenosha, Wisconsin

Staff Sgt. Prange and Pfc. Williams died in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, as the result of an explosion from an improvised explosive device. Both soldiers were members of the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo.

Pfc. Hamilton died at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was being treated for an illness that he contracted during his deployment to the Ghanzi province with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.

U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan are scheduled to conclude at the end of this year. However, the Commander-in-chief has said that as many as 10,000 U.S. soldiers could remain in Afghanistan if a security agreement between the two nations is made.

The families, friends and comrades of these fallen soldiers have our deepest sympathy.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: U.S. Army Mourns 3 Fallen:   By Debbie Gregory