Monday, May 25, 2015

They Gave Service

Today is the day we all (hopefully) pause to remember and honor those who died while serving in our country's armed forces. Most of our attention will focus on casualties of the various wars we've been involved in. But there are other heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice while helping others.

Remembering Marines Who Died On A Mission Of Mercy In Nepal
What kind of man or woman risks their lives for strangers?

Eric Seaman of Murrieta, Calif., was 30. He had two children, and was a U.S. Marine sergeant. His wife, Samantha Seaman, told CNN, "Last week I got an email telling me that he felt purpose and that he delivered 10,000 pounds of rice ... and I know that right before he passed away, I know that he helped somebody."

Sara Medina was 23. She enlisted in the Marines just out of high school in Aurora, Illinois, and served in South Korea, South America and Okinawa.

"She liked to travel," Cpl. Medina's father, Luis Medina, told the Daily Herald. "She liked to help other people to find a better future."

Dustin Lukasiewicz was a pilot, from Wilcox, Nebraska, married, with a daughter, and another child on the way.

He is the Marine captain you might have seen in news interviews, explaining how their Huey helicopter threaded through steep mountain trails in Nepal to bring rice and tarpaulin — food and shelter — to small, shattered villages in the wake of this month's earthquake and aftershocks that have killed more than 8,000 people.

Christopher Norgren was 31, from Wichita, Kan., also a Marine captain and a pilot, who sent Instant Messages to his mother on Mother's Day after she said she was worried.

"I'm not really worried about danger, Mom," his mother says he wrote back. "That's what I signed up for. Just looking forward to helping people."

Sgt. Mark Johnson was the helicopter's crew chief. He was 29, from Altamonte Springs, Fla., loved camping and surfing, and his mother told the Orlando Sentinel that after three overseas deployments, and with a wife and two children, he thought about leaving the Marines for a job in security.

Lance Cpl. Jacob Hug was from Phoenix. He turned 22 in Nepal, while delivering food, medicine and shelter. His Uncle John told the Arizona Republic he needed money for college, and wanted to see the world.

"He wanted to be a Marine," John Hug said. "That's what he wanted and there was no talking him out of it."

This weekend, their deaths — and lives — remind us that anyone who puts on a military uniform is in harm's way. At a time of life when many people network, these men and women worked. They didn't just build careers; they gave service.
It's not just America which is blessed to have such people. The entire world is a better place because of them.

Let's also remember those they left behind.

Little Boy Throws First Pitch At Game In Honor Of Father Killed In Nepal Helicopter Crash
A young boy threw out the first pitch at a baseball game in Riverside County in honor of his father, a Marine who died in a helicopter crash in Nepal.

The Lake Elsinore Storm baseball game Friday night was in honor of Sgt. Eric Seaman of Murrieta, who was killed this month while on a relief mission in Nepal after the devastating earthquakes.
In a sad bit of irony, Seaman was supposed to return home to his family next week.


Old NFO said...

It's not just about heroism in a war... Thanks for the reminder.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

=1 Old NFO. The float bridge company in Germany I served in did many civil aid tasks during floods.

Once we provided a floating platform so a river meandering in and out of East Germany could be dredged to keep a municipal waterworks functioning. Our men had weapons aimed at them from East Germany the entire time.