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The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

National Tragedy - 7 Marines and 4 LA National Guardsmen Killed In Tragic Accident

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, seven US Marines from Camp LeJeune, North Carolina and four Louisiana National Guard soldiers were involved in a terrible helicopter accident during a training exercise near Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The Black Hawk helicopter they were training in got lost in foggy conditions at around 8:30 PM in the Santa Rosa Sound in the Florida panhandle.

Pictured from the top, left to right:
Captain Stanfort H. Shaw III (31) from Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Staff Sergeant Kerry Kemp (27) from Port Washington, Wisconsin
Staff Sergeant Marcus S. Bawol (27) from Warren, Michigan.
Staff Sergeant Trevor P. Blaylock (29) from Lake Orion, Michigan

Pictured bottom, left to right:
Staff Sergeant Liam A. Flynn (33) from Queens, New York
Master Sergeant Thomas A. Saunders (33) Williamsburg, Virginia
Staff Sergeant Andrew Seif  (26) from Holland, Michigan (a Silver Star recipient)

The seven Marines were members of the same team who constantly trained and faced danger together as a part of the Marines Special Operations Command (MARSOC) which totals about 2,500 troops.

Four Louisiana National Guard soldiers were also killed:

Chief Warrant Officer George Wayne Griffin (37)
Chief Warrant Officer George David Strother (44)
Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron (40)
Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich (26)

The National Guard soldiers, from Hammond, Louisiana, each did two tours in Iraq and joined in humanitarian missions after the Gulf Coast hurricanes and the 2010 BP oil spill.

This was a senseless accident and a national tragedy. May God be with the families of these good men in their time of sorrow. My prayers go out to you too.


  1. Tragic event all the way around. Thanks for memorializing these defenders of our land.