A Time to Mourn


A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
~ Ecclesiates 3:4 NKJV

From the Office of the Governor

Governor McDonnell Declares Aug. 12 a Day of Mourning for Virginia Servicemen Killed In Afghanistan Helicopter Tragedy
~Orders all State Flags to Fly at Half Staff Friday; Encourages Virginians to Also Fly Flags at Half Staff and Donate to Military Service Charities~

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today named Friday, Aug. 12 as a day of mourning for 30 servicemen who were killed when their helicopter went down in eastern Afghanistan last weekend. Many of the victims were reported to be Navy SEALs with ties to Virginia. As part of the day of mourning, the governor has ordered all state flags to be flown at half staff from dawn to dusk on Friday.

“While details surrounding the helicopter tragedy over the weekend are still being investigated, the human impact of the loss of these servicemen upon their families, their units, and the Virginia military community are profound,” Governor McDonnell said. “It is with a heavy heart that I ask all Virginians to join me in a day of mourning and remembrance for those who lost their lives defending our country and to offer their support and thanks to the families and military community they left behind. While no show of gratitude can ever replace what was lost during this tragedy, it is in times like these that Virginians need to rally to offer the care and support that can make a difference in the lives of all those touched by the tragedy.”

The governor called upon citizens who wish to show their support through monetary donations to organizations such as the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provide support and financial assistance above what the U.S. Department of Defense provides, particularly immediate financial support and tragedy assistance to families. Virginians can text SEAL to 90999 to donate $10 or go online to the organization’s website (http://navysealfoundation.org) to make a donation. Listed below are additional support organizations for military families also affected by last weekend’s tragedy.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Terrie Suit added, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the heroic warriors who selflessly gave their lives in service to our country this past weekend. I urge our citizens to consider making a donation, no matter how large or small, to help the family members left behind.”

The mission of the Navy SEAL Foundation is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community and their families. The Navy SEAL Foundation has three core areas of support: supporting families by easing their burden when an active-duty member of the NSW community is injured or killed in action; providing spouses and their children scholarship programs and other educational assistance; and, making sure that the extraordinary contributions made in defense of our freedoms by members of the NSW community are remembered.

 

From the Department of Defense

August 11, 2011

DOD Identifies Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of 30 servicemembers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered
when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed.

The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special
Warfare unit were killed:

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.,

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.,

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas,

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich.,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.,

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah,

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.,

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa.,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla., and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, Calif., and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, ofSaint Paul, Minn.

The soldiers killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.;

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.;

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.;

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.; and

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

The airmen killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.;

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.; and

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.

Today we mourn their passing, honor their memory and express our appreciation for their ultimate sacrifice.

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