We remember these heroes who gave their lives for freedoms cause and the families they left behind.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Devon J. Doyle, 21, of Alamosa, CO, died May 16, in Manama, Bahrain, of a non-combat related incident while on liberty. The incident is under investigation. He was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. He was assigned to USS Farragut (DDG 99), homeported in Mayport, FL.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan D. Burris, 24, of Lisle, IL, died May 21, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, of a non-combat related incident at Zayed Military City. The incident is under investigation. He was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. He was temporarily assigned to the Crisis Response Element of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, Special Operations Command Central, U.S. Central Command.
Sgt. 1st Class Pablo A. Ruiz, 37, of Melbourne, FL, died May 24, in Bagram, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. He was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He was assigned to Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC.
Staff Sgt. Kerry Kemp, 27, who was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., is among the dead. His sister-in-law, Lora Waraksa of Port Washington, Wis., said Marines notified her and her sister, Jenna Kemp, on Wednesday that his remains had been found. Kemp was a “proud Marine, a loving husband and most wonderful father,” with a year-old child, she said. He loved taking his nephews out to hunt for seashells, Waraksa said. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Kemp met his wife, Jenna, at Port Washington High School in Wisconsin, where he was voted “best smile” by his senior class. Kemp earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Valor, Combat Action Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal.
Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol, 26, of Warren, Mich., was to be married in October to his high-school sweetheart, according to the Macomb (Mich.) Daily. Bawol was part of a U.S. Marines special operations regiment from Camp Lejeune who had completed two tours in Afghanistan. Bawol’s sister, Brandy Peek, said that military officials identified her brother from remains recovered after the crash. On Thursday, the Warren mayor ordered flags in the city, just north of Detroit, flown at half-staff. Justin Manford, who once served with Bawol, posted on Facebook: “He was a phenomenal Marine and an even better man.”
Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif, 26, of Holland, Mich., was awarded the Silver Star, the Marine Corps third highest award for valor, on March 6. Seif, a critical skills operator with 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, was awarded the medal for his actions against the enemy in Badghis province, Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Trevor Blaylock, 29, was a husband and father of two young children who grew up in Lake Orion, Mich. In 2006, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was previously stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Anbar province. He earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Combat Action ribbon.
Capt. Stanford H. Shaw III, 31, of Basking Ridge, N.J., was student government president and captain of the varsity lacrosse team in high school. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2006 and became a commissioned Marine officer. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. He served two tours of duty in Iraq. He earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment ribbon (with two stars).
Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, 33, of Williamsburg, Va., was team chief for 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command. He earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy Marine Commendation Medals, five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge and five Good Conduct Medals. He was promoted to the rank of master sergeant in September 2013.
Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, 33, of Queens, New York, was born in Reading, England. He enlisted in the Marines in 2002, and was assigned to Camp Lejeune. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals with Valor, the Bronze Star with Valor and Combat Action Ribbon.
CWO4 David Strother, of Pineville, La., a National Guardsman who was one of two pilots on the helicopter, had served overseas tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Pastor Darryl Hoychick of Trinity Baptist Church in Pineville, according to USA Today.