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Fellow Marines remember 6 killed in Afghanistan crash

  • 2ND MARINE AIRCRAFT WING (FWD.)
    Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Green holds the dog tags of a fallen Marine as he pays his respects to his comrades during a ceremony at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, Jan. 24. Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 held a ceremony to honor six Marines who were killed when their CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter crashed conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 19. While the crash is currently under investigation, NATO officials said there were no signs of enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident. "Every Marine in this squadron understands the dangers of our job, but that doesn't make it any easier when something like this happens," said Green, the squadron sergeant major. "People are shocked, people are upset and people are hurt. We still have a mission to do, and it's not done until we're heading back home to Hawaii."
  • 2ND MARINE AIRCRAFT WING (FWD.)
    Marines stand at attention as "Taps" is played at a memorial ceremony at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, Jan. 24., led by Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Green, left, and Lt. Col. Mark Revor, center, the sergeant major and commanding officer for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363. The squadron held a ceremony to honor six Marines who were killed when their CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter crashed conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 19. While the crash is currently under investigation, NATO officials said there were no signs of enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident. "Every Marine in this squadron understands the dangers of our job, but that doesn't make it any easier when something like this happens," Green said. "People are shocked, people are upset and people are hurt. We still have a mission to do, and it's not done until we're heading back home to Hawaii."
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A ceremony in Afghanistan today honored six Kaneohe Marines killed when their CH-53D Sea Stallion heavy-lift helicopter crashed in Helmand province on Jan. 19.

Fellow Marines from Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 filled a chapel at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan to pay their respects to the fallen, according to a report from a Marine journalist.

"It is difficult to be here, easier to suppress our emotions and move on with our daily routine," said Lt. Col. Mark Revor, commanding officer of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, in his remarks at the ceremony, according to a Department of Defense news report. "It is difficult because they were more than friends, more than family – they were our brothers and our comrades."

During the ceremony’s final roll call, Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Green, the squadron’s sergeant major, called the names of the Marines killed – Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, a native of Ferndale, Wash.; Capt. Nathan R. McHone, from Crystal Lake, Ill.; Master Sgt. Travis Riddick, a native of Centerville, Iowa; Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, of Willis, Texas; Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, from Colonia, N.J.; and Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, who grew up in Roxana, Ill., and Interlachen, Fla.

Outside the squadron’s hangar, the American flag flew at half-staff beside the squadron’s sign depicting their logo, "The Lucky Red Lions."

"It’s hard to feel lucky today, but I know that I could not describe [it] better than to say I was lucky to serve with these men, lucky to have known them as well as I did," said Revor, "and I will be lucky indeed if I can brighten the days and nights of my friends the way that they brightened mine."

While the Jan. 19 crash is currently under investigation, NATO officials said there were no signs of enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident.

"Every Marine in this squadron understands the dangers of our job, but that doesn’t make it any easier when something like this happens," said Sgt. Maj. Green. "People are shocked, people are upset and people are hurt. We still have a mission to do, and it’s not done until we’re heading back home to Hawaii."

 
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