Not long after America lost 13 brave and heroic U.S. service members in Kabul, tragedy struck a group of troops here in the U.S. after the U.S. Navy revealed that a helicopter crash had occurred with several service members on board.
According to the Washington Examiner, the U.S. Navy’s 3rd fleet made the horrific announcement over the weekend, confirming that five U.S. service members had perished in the wake of an MH-60S helicopter crashing into the sea about 60 nautical miles off the coast of Southern California.
At the time of this writing, the bodies of the deceased have not yet been recovered.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday released a statement in the wake of the tragedy, which came after several days of search and rescue missions that included “34 search and rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, and five search helicopters.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of five Sailors and those injured following the MH-60S helicopter tragedy off the coast of Southern California,” Adm. Gilday wrote. “We stand alongside their families, loved ones, and shipmates who grieve.”
In addition to the five service members who perished in the crash, another five were injured, with two of them sustaining injuries serious enough for hospital transport. The remaining three only sustained minor injuries in the crash.
The USS Lincoln, which was where the helicopter originated from, released a statement on its official Facebook page in which it honored the fallen sailors.
“Moving forward, we will continue to honor their service and legacy in everything we do, and hope you join us in this mission,” the statement read. “We thank you all for your continued support, thoughts and prayers as this transition is incredibly difficult on all of us.”
Deceased sailors identified
On Sunday, the five sailors aboard the helicopter flight who died in the crash were identified by the U.S. Navy, according to The Hill.
Those who perished included: Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28; Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31; and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21.
The U.S. Navy hasn’t provided specifics on what led to the catastrophic incident but added that investigations are currently underway.
No matter if our troops take their last breath overseas or here at home, it’s never easy, especially when they’re so young. Rest easy, warriors.