The Marines killed were part of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, when a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter crashed near Eglin, Florida, at approximately 8:30 p.m. March 10.
It is unconscionable that USA Today would use the tragedy of Wednesday’s military helicopter crash in Florida to criticize the unit to which the Marines were assigned, citing a controversial incident that occurred eight years ago in Afghanistan. The two events are completely unrelated and the story shamelessly devotes a few paragraphs to the crash in order to rehash old allegations against a small unit within the command — most of which were found unsubstantiated through investigations and a court of inquiry. Linking the crash with the Afghanistan case was uncalled for and a disservice to the dedicated Marines of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, and their families.
The dead include: Capt. Stanford H. Shaw, III, 31, from Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, 33, from Williamsburg, Virginia; Staff Sgt. Marcus S. Bawol, 26, from Warren, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, 29, from Lake Orion, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, 33, from Queens, New York; Staff Sgt. Kerry M. Kemp, 27, from Port Washington, Wisconsin; and Staff Sgt. Andrew C. Seif, 26, from Holland, Michigan.
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