The military has not yet released the names of the men who lost their lives in the Florida helicopter crash that killed 11 servicemen Thursday morning, but local sources and family members are beginning to leak the information.
Highly decorated Marine Andrew Seif from Holland, Mich. is reported to have been one of the souls who lost their lives when the Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the ocean, according to the Daily Mail.
Seif, 27, had been awarded the Silver Star medal, the military’s third highest award for valor, just one week before the crash. He was credited for saving a wounded team member under heavy enemy fire while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
Seif was named ‘Marine of the Year’ in 2013, and his fellow crew members – six other Marines and four National Guard soldiers – are all reported to have been highly trained and experienced military men.
“It was certainly a high-impact crash,” said Elgin Fire Chief Mark Giuliano, and “very, very, very dense fog.”
Airmen are still searching the water and shores where debris is slowly turning up. But the recovery of evidence needed to determine what happened to cause the crash remains painstakingly slow due to bad weather conditions.
Marines Marcus Bawol, and Trevor Blaylock were also from Michigan and have been confirmed dead by local sources. Fellow Marine Kerry Kemp who came from Wisconsin leaves behind a baby just shy of her first birthday.
All the marines were combat veterans who served tours in Iraq before joining the 2nd Marine Special Forces Operations Battalion in Afghanistan.
The National Guard soldiers, all from Louisiana, each served two tours in Iraq and helped with rescue missions along the Gulf Coast.
The crash resulted in tragic loss, especially for their families, as well as for America.
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