While a plane crash in a small town in Mississippi, which claimed the lives of 16 marine soldiers, has been all over the news, one item that was less covered when it occurred was a helicopter crash in 2015, which saw the deaths of 7 elite marines.
The men aboard the helicopter were some of the most experienced and respected men in the marines at the time. They were as follows: Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, 33, Staff Sgt. Andrew C. Seif, 26, Capt. Stanford H. Shaw, III, 31; Staff Sgt. Marcus S. Bawol, 26; Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, 29; Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, 33; and Staff Sgt. Kerry M. Kemp, 27.
“The only reason you find out that these guys were larger-than-life guys is because somebody else told you,” said another service member who served with them in Afghanistan. “Because they damn sure wouldn’t be the ones to tell you.”
He suggested one way of helping honor these fallen soldiers. “Make you sure you remember those families out there,” he said. “Contact them. … They’re still a part of the family.”
“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”