By Debbie Gregory.
Two men, both of whom served their country, one a veteran and one an active duty servicemember, lost their lives just days apart, both under tragic circumstances.
On Friday, May 26th, Army veteran Ricky Best was stabbed when he stood up to Jeremy Joseph Christian in defense of a girl wearing a hijab and her friend, as Christian launched a slur-filled diatribe at the two aboard a MAX Green Line train in Oregon.
Then on Sunday, May 28th, a tragic parachute malfunction sent a member of the Navy’s elite SEAL parachute team plunging into the Hudson River.
Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Remington J. Peters was taking part in a performance with the elite Leap Frogs skydiving demonstration team during New York Fleet Week. He landed in the river near Liberty State Park in New Jersey, and was pulled out of the water by the Coast Guard. Peters was sent to the Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The Navy is continuing to investigate the accident.
Best, a 23-year retired Army veteran, died on the train from stab wounds inflicted by Christian. Two other men, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, were also stabbed. Namkai-Meche later died at the hospital. Fletcher is expected to recover. The three men tried to talk Christian down from his agitated state.
According to the Navy Special Warfare Center, Peters had completed two combat deployments and had more than 900 parachute jumps. He enlisted in September, 2009, and arrived in Coronado, CA shortly after recruit and preliminary training in Illinois.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and loved ones of these two men who proudly served their country. We thank them both for their service, their bravery and their sacrifices.