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PageO Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

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Strength after tragedy

PageP Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

The Crash Victims’ Loved Ones

Relatives, others still dealing with loss today


Deneen said. “He had a gift for connecting with people that was more remarkable than anyone I’ve ever met.” Deneen said she’s filled with both dread and anticipation at the prospect of visiting Mississippi, the memorial and the crash site, but as a first responder it’s important to her to thank those in Leflore County who were there for Mark and his crew. “I want to meet the first responders as a sister in the fire service,” she said. Rob said the memorial in Itta Bena and the memorial services he’s attended over the past year with other families mean a lot. “It’s remarkably encouraging to be with people who have been affected the same way I have,” he said. “It’s more than ‘Misery loves company.’ It’s knowing you’re not alone, having a sense of solidarity with people and communities that have gone through this tragedy together.”

or those who lost a beloved — a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a fiancé — in the July 10, 2017, plane crash in western Leflore County, this is a story with no end. Some 200 of them will be here for the dedication of the Yanky 72 memorial this weekend. Some of them shared their feelings about coming to Mississippi, shared some stories about their loved ones and talked about how they have managed over the past year to move forward through the labyrinth of loss and grief. vvv

Nina Baldassare, mother of Marine Cpl. Daniel Baldassare — Daniel had just turned 20 on June 30, 2017 — said the grief over her son’s sudden and unexpected death has a grip on her that has loosened only slightly in one year. “At 20, my son, Daniel, had a plan,” she said. “A D. Baldassare plan to continue to be loyal to his parents and sister and to have a family with Devin Goldring.” Devin was Daniel’s girlfriend, whom he hoped to marry and who has grieved over the last year with Daniel’s family while attending school and channeling her feelings into creative writing. Daniel had a plan to be with the Marines for 20 years, Nina said. She visited Marine Reserve headquarters at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, near where she lives, where Daniel had inquired about making the Marines his career just before he died and had written down the benefits of remaining in service for 10 years, for 20 years. Nina said the grip of grief is intense, the trauma debilitating. Still, she and Daniel’s loved ones keep moving forward. His sister just finished a year at Michigan State University with a 4.0 GPA; Devin has been honored with a poetry prize. Nina and her partner are at work on a plan to open a café just outside the base, a place for Marines to gather, with a bench outside dedicated to Daniel and his crewmates on the KC-130T that crashed in Mississippi soybean fields, killing all aboard. “This tragedy made us push through, but deep down inside, the trauma and the grief are complicated,” Nina said. Daniel played the ukulele, and next door to the place where she hopes to open her café is a music store. “The gentleman next door introduced himself to me as a ukulele player,” she said. “I take that as a sign. His students will be playing in the café.” Daniel was a history buff who always made whoever was driving pull over wherever there was a monument or road marker, Nina said. Now, on U.S. 82, there will be one with his name on it. vvv

Deneen Wiske of Wisconsin and Rob Hopkins of Louisville, Kentucky, sister and brother of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Mark Hopkins, had lost another family member just three months before they lost Mark. Mark, who was 34 when he died, was hus-

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band to Patricia and father to their three kids. Deneen, a firefighter, was having a training day with her squad on July 10 last year and missed several calls from her mother and her brother Rob that she wasn’t able to answer until the wee hours of the next morning. “I called my mom at M. Hopkins about 4:45 a.m., and she asked me if I’d heard the news. She said there was a crash and a plane went down in Mississippi and there were no survivors. She had three months earlier made the call that my father had died unexpectedly. “I told somebody the other day, I have my children and I have my job and I’m so

grateful for that, but I feel just as sad as I did on July 11 when I heard the news.” Deneen said she wishes she lived closer to Mark’s wife and kids in Chesapeake, Virginia, and to all of her family members. “Our therapy is one another,” she said. Rob agreed, describing theirs as a close family whose gatherings will never look the same without Mark. “He was my older brother, and to be honest, it’s kind of hard not to dump on the superlatives when talking about Mark,” Rob said. “He was spontaneity at its best. He always put his thoughtful and fun signature on everything he did.” Rob said Mark was the guy who put everyone else at ease, who loosened up stiff and overly serious people as soon as he started talking to them. “If I weren’t related to Mark, I would have wanted to be friends with him,”



Owen Lennon, father of Marine Sgt. Owen J. Lennon of Rockland, New York, said coming to Mississippi is a “big emotional leap” for him and his family, who are still in disbelief that Owen died that day. “Our life changed so dramatically since then,” he said. “He lost his future and everything he had, and he had a great future.” Young Owen lived near his parents, and they saw him often. He and his soon-to-bef i a n c é e JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ had just bought a “This tragedy made h o m e together. us push through, but His career as a flight deep down inside, the engineer was going trauma and the grief well. His parents, are complicated. ’’ in their 60s, had Nina Baldassare been takJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ ing stock of where they were and where their children were, and they drew satisfaction knowing they had a future with Owen and his family to look forward to. “We’re still trying to make sense about how that could have happened to our son and all those guys in that plane,” Lennon said. He is an immigrant from Ireland, and a gentle brogue colors his words. “We’re no more past the emotion than when everything happened. My wife is brokenhearted. I just recently had quadruple bypass surgery, so I have a broken heart, but this is harder than my broken heart.” The Christmas before young Owen died, the entire family was together in one place, a rare occurrence, Lennon said. It was a great celebration. Since the crash, the family hasn’t celebrated any holidays. But a year out, they are beginning to find comfort in telling stories of their Owen. “This year, we have gone to memorials, to 5K’s, to church, to retreats, to therapy,” Lennon wrote in a statement remembering his son. “We have lived grief in all of its forms.” Lennon went on to remember Owen as “our good-looking, wise-cracking, larger-than-life 26-year-old little brother,” a Marine who, “like the others lost, was so full of life it was hard to contain. … A Marine who had the foresight to laughingly request 100 shots of Jack Daniel’s accompanied by 100 stories to celebrate his life should anything ever happen.

Life-changing day The Crash and Its Aftermath

PageQ Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

Many responded after plane went down


t’s safe to say we didn’t know what had hit Leflore County at 4 p.m. on July 10, 2017. A couple of folks out in the western part of the county heard what they described as explosions overhead and looked up to see a large plane falling from the cloudless blue sky. One said it was spiraling. Another later described it as a large plane with big pieces missing. District 4 Supervisor Wayne Self came to the county board meeting late that Monday afternoon, looking rushed and hot. He told his colleagues there was a crash west of Itta Bena in a soybean field, possibly a cropduster. The day was still, the temperature sweltering in the mid-90s. Within an hour, it became clear this was no cropduster but a large military transport plane, a KC-130T, that had lost communication with air traffic control after reporting a cruising altitude of 20,000 feet. Within minutes of the crash, county volunteer firefighters arrived at the scene south of U.S. 82 where a large burning section of the plane was half-buried in the soft ground, belching a massive tower of black smoke. The Greenwood Fire Department’s air crash truck arrived shortly after to help get the fire under control. County firefighters pumped water from a nearby catfish pond and worked into the night, trying to cool the fire. “When something did happen, we did that for him. Because we have known Owen, we have been able to survive losing Owen.” vvv

Sarah Schaaff of Georgia was 20 weeks’ pregnant with her second child, daughter Guinevere Collin-Ann, when her 22-year-old husband, Marine Cpl. Collin Schaaff, lost his life. The couple already had a daughter, Willow Grace, who was barely 1 year old when her father died. Sarah met Collin in a C. Schaaff country music bar in New York. Both she and he were designated drivers for the friends they’d gone out with and ended up dancing that evening. “We started dating in October, were engaged in January, married in February and were expecting our first child by July,” she said. “It moved so quickly, but when you know, you know. This year it would have been four years since we met.” In some ways, Sarah said, being pregnant with Guinevere, named after she and Collin watched a King Arthur movie together, kept her from falling apart. “I was pregnant, and I already had a daughter who was born prematurely,” she said. “I knew when this happened that I could possibly have a baby that would come super-early, and that’s not what I wanted. I knew I couldn’t have a breakdown because it wouldn’t be good for the baby or for Willow. She came one week late.” Sarah said that she has just now, a year later, reached a place where she’s not numb anymore. She relies on her friends

jáëëáëëáééá=eáÖÜï~ó=m~íêçä=çÑÑáÅÉêë=~êêáîÉ=çå=rKpK=UO=åÉ~ê=íÜÉ=ëáíÉ=çÑ=íÜÉ=ãáäáí~êó=íê~åëJ éçêí=éä~åÉ=Åê~ëÜ=çå=gìäó=NMI=OMNTI=íç=ÇáêÉÅí=íê~ÑÑáÅI=í~âáåÖ=çîÉê=Ñçê=pìåÑäçïÉê=`çìåíó îçäìåíÉÉêëK Authorities later confirmed there were On the north side of the highway, just a mile or so away, other portions of the plane 16 on board. Early the next day, a spokesperson for and most of the men aboard had landed in another soybean field. Leflore County the U.S. Marines Reserve Force said the Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff Ken plane belonged to a unit stationed in Spencer, deputies from his department, Newburgh, New York, had taken off from Leflore County volunteer firefighters and a Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina contingent of firefighters from Sunflower and was en route to El Centro, California, County immediately began searching the when it fell from the sky, dropped pieces and passengers on the north side of U.S. field for possible survivors. 82, continued southward and crashed in a There were none. The south-side fire burned through the soybean field near the Leflore-Sunflower night, setting off a series of explosions as County line. Onboard were 15 Marines and one Navy munitions onboard ignited. By 8:30 p.m., Sheriff Ricky Banks report- corpsman. Seven were from Camp ed 12 bodies recovered from the north Lejeune’s 2nd Marine Raider Battalion in crash site, up from an initial count of nine. North Carolina; the other nine were from pqlov=_v=h^qeovk=b^pq_rokX=cfib=melql=_v=i^robk=o^ka^ii

for comfort. She moved back to Georgia to be near her mother. Her joy and her strength come from the girls and from her memories of Collin. “He collected yo-yos,” she said, laughing. “He could do all these cool tricks. When we started dating, he gave me a yo-yo.” He also loved dogs, all dogs, and often volunteered to dog-sit for pretty much anybody. “At one time there were seven dogs in my house.” Collin liked to take Willow on the plane where he worked to show her how everything worked. He took her to a barnyard to show her the goats and to tell her how he used to care for them when he was in high school, working on a farm. Sarah said she’s grateful that the memorial in Itta Bena will commemorate Collin permanently. “It makes it all better,” she said. “The memorial is something we will forever be able to go back to.” vvv

Cassie Lohrey spoke quietly on the phone. Her 4-month-old daughter was sleeping nearby. She said she’d married Ryan Lohrey just a month before the plane crash that took the 30-year-old Navy corpsman’s life. “We wanted to have a family right away,” she said. “I found out I was pregnant with her on July 31 last year. She looks exactly like him. I named her Ryan, after him.” Cassie and Ryan met R. Lohrey four years ago, when he was doing medical training at a hospital in Michigan where she worked as a nurse. She moved to North Carolina, where he

was stationed at Camp Lejeune. “We just found our first house in March before the accident,” she said. Cassie said she has gotten close to some of the other spouses of the men who died in the crash. “I’m going to the beach with one of them this afternoon,” she said. Cassie said she has “overwhelming gratitude” for everyone in Leflore County, “for the way (Ryan and the others) have been honored and that their legacy is still going on.” Her daughter, Ryan, was born on March 6, two days before Cassie’s birthday. “She has been my motivation,” she said. “I don’t know how I could do it without that. I want to make Daddy proud. We try and stay strong for him. “She’s a little redhead, just like he was.” vvv

“My family really was Brendan,” Anna Johnson said. “We didn’t have any children. We were just the two of us.” The wife of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Brendan Johnson, Anna said she and Brendan got up on Monday, July 10, 2017, at their home in New York, and both got ready for the day — he for the trip he was taking on a KC-130T aircraft, first to North Carolina, then to California. She was headed to Fort Worth, Texas, to do some training for her job. Brendan’s flight was nothing out of the ordinary, she said. They could be refueling, carrying a load or dropping jumpers. She was in Fort Worth when she heard about the crash, but the news was vague at first. “I waited into the night, even though I knew something terrible had happened,” she said. “Then I came home the next day.” Brendan, 45 at the time of his death, was due to retire on July 28 after 24 years in

Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh. The search for the fallen continued through the heat of the second day and into a third. The remains of 15 men were transported to Jackson via a caravan of hearses while first responders continued searching for the 16th. They found him, finally, on the fourth day. This was the deadliest Marine Corps air disaster since 2005. It changed the lives of a broad network of people, extending shock, loss and compassion across the country to the loved ones of every man on board the plane, to every first responder in the area, to everyone who lived in Leflore County, sending out prayers, preparing meals, transporting water and doing everything they could to help. When the 16 men had all been flown home, their families notified, their lives abruptly ended, first responders in Leflore County and from around the state assisted Marines flown in for the recovery effort, combing a 5-mile-wide debris field of chesthigh soybeans, inch by inch, searching for all that remained of the plane and its contents. A year later, the Marine Corps has not said what caused the crash, only that an investigation continues. A year later, citizens and first responders of Leflore County and loved ones of the fallen await the dedication of a permanent memorial to the fallen, to be unveiled on Saturday. A year later, we have all absorbed the blow of July 10, 2017, and it has left an indelible mark.n

the military. “The possibility of something like this happening is always a conversation, a possibility,” Anna said. “But can you prepare for it? I can honestly say there’s not even a chance. There’s no way.” Anna and Brendan had lived together for two years when 9-11 happened. Because of her job, many of the passengers on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center tower were people she knew. They all perished. “You can’t describe that anguish,” she said. “Not even now.” Brendan and Anna eloped for their first wedding, shortly after 9-11, then renewed their vows in front of family, in September 2016, to celebrate 15 years of marriage. He made her laugh, she said. He was a funny guy with a big personality who couldn’t be ignored. “We were a small family, but we laughed every day,” she said. “I never tired of him, and I was still ‘twitterpated’ after 18 years together. He was the best part of me.” Anna said she has trepidation about coming to the site of the crash, knowing it will be emotional, but she wants the community to know that her heart is filled with gratitude for all they’ve done. “I say, ‘Thank you,’ and it seems so inadequate. All the heart and soul they’ve poured into remembering our guys, to know that our men mean enough to them to become family — I have no words.” For Anna, the Yanky 72 memorial is more than just a monument. It is a permanent reminder of this funny Marine who owned her heart. “The one thing you want more than anything in the world is that they don’t get forgotten,” she said. “The biggest fear you have is that they won’t be remembered. “It’s so important to know they are still part of people’s lives.” n

Local hospitality

PageR Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

About the Memorial Weekend

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lifton Addison says he hopes this weekend’s events honoring the 16 service members who lost their lives a year ago when a transport plane crashed in Leflore County will bring some sense of closure to their families. Addison, chairman of the Yanky 72 Memorial Committee and senior vice commandant of the Marine Corps League Department of Mississippi, wants the Yanky 72 Memorial Weekend to “show the families that we care about them and their servicemen, the family members that they lost,” he said. He expects more than 800 people to travel across the country to honor those who died, including more than 200 family members and numerous Marines, including many from the units in which the crash victims — 15 Marines and one Navy corpsman — served. Nine of the Marines were from the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452, a reserve unit based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. Six Marines and the Navy corpsman were from the 2nd Raider Battalion, a special operations unit headquartered at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Addison, who lives in Purvis, said the response from the fallen servicemen’s family members about the weekend has been highly positive. “They are tickled to death with what we are doing. Some of them just can’t believe

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n NM=~KãK=jÉãçêá~ä=éêçÖê~ãI=eKdK `~êéÉåíÉê=^ìÇáíçêáìãI=jáëëáëëáééá s~ääÉó=pí~íÉ=råáîÉêëáíó n NNWPM=~KãK=råîÉáäáåÖ=çÑ=ãÉãçêá~äI iÉÑäçêÉ=`çìåíó=áåÅìÄ~íçê=ÄìáäÇáåÖI=rKpK UOI=fíí~=_Éå~ n NOWPM=éKãK=oìÅâ=ã~êÅÜ=ÄÉÖáåë=Ñêçã ãÉãçêá~ä=ëáíÉ it,” Addison said. “They are just overwhelmed that we are doing this.” He said he had spoken to one of the crash victims’ wives, telling her how excited he was to meet her and give her a hug. “She said, ‘No, I am going to give you a bear hug,’’’ he said. “I told her, ‘No problem. I will give you a big ole bear hug.’’’ The families will begin arriving Thursday and will be greeted by their host families arranged by the GreenwoodLeflore County Chamber of Commerce. Terry Grantham, office manager at the chamber, said there are 33 host families set up to help the guests with transportation or anything else they may need during their stay. “I know it has taken a lot of people. We have had people step up and volunteer,” Grantham said. “They have been very generous with their time, and with everything that is needed to be set up for all the families as far as the meals, the food, the utensils and

JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ “It is just awesome what the city of Greenwood and the county of Leflore are doing. ... Y’all live in probably the best county in this state. ’’ Clifton Addison


tablecloths. Literally everything that we need has been given by one organization or another.” Although a majority of the weekend will only be for the families, the public is invited to attend most of Saturday’s events, beginning with a 10 a.m. program at the H.G. Carpenter Auditorium at Mississippi Valley State University. During the ceremony, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert and other local community and government leaders are expected to speak. It will be followed by an 11:30 a.m. unveiling of the marble, granite and concrete memorial that is being permanently placed at the Leflore County incubator building in Itta Bena. That facility, located across the highway from the university, served as the headquarters for the search and recovery operation following the July 10, 2017, plane crash. The marker, designed by Greenwood



advertising agency owner Allan Hammons, will be known as the Yanky 72 Plane Crash Memorial. Yanky 72 was the call sign of the KC-130T transport plane that crashed for reasons that have not been publicly disclosed yet by the military. Following the unveiling, a ruck march will begin at 12:30 p.m. from the memorial site. Marines will carry dirt from the crash site on a march that will cover about 900 miles to Camp Lejeune. The public is welcome to join in the first stretch of the march, walking from the memorial east on U.S. 82 to the Viking Range facilities that house the company’s distribution center and ventilation plant. Buses will pick up participants and return them to Mississippi Valley State. Addison said the planning and funding of this event has been through the effort of multiple organizations and local groups. The Marine Corps League Department of Mississippi, The Wingman Foundation, the Marine Raider Foundation, the Marine Corps Reserve Association, Marine Corps Air Transport Association, Marine Corps Aviation Association, the Marine Battleherk Project, the Leflore County Board of Supervisors and the Greenwood City Council helped make the memorial weekend financially possible. Other organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Mississippi Valley State, law enforcement agencies and various local groups have contributed, donated and provided support. “It is just awesome,” Addison said, “what the city of Greenwood and the county of Leflore are doing. ... Y’all live in probably the best county in this state.”n

Distinguished group About the Servicemen

PageS Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

Those lost in crash had earned many honors Cpl. Daniel I. Baldassare

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Staff Sgt. Robert H. Cox

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Capt. Sean E. Elliott

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Maj. Caine M. Goyette

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Gunnery Sgt. Mark A. Hopkins

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW=`ÜÉë~éÉ~âÉI=sáêÖáåá~ råáíW= j~J êáåÉ=^Éêá~ä=oÉJ ÑìÉäÉê= qê~åëJ éçêí= pèì~Çêçå QRO péÉÅá~äíóW q~ÅíáÅ~ä= ëóëJ íÉãë= çéÉê~J íçêLãáëëáçå ëéÉÅá~äáëí aÉéäçóJ ãÉåíëW= = `çåJ íáåÖÉåÅó= léÉJ ê~íáçåë= fpl gqcJRPSL eìã~åáí~êá~å jáëëáçåI= g~åì~êó= OMMRX= léÉê~íáçå båÇìêáåÖ= cêÉÉÇçãI= ^ìÖìëí= OMMR= íç pÉéíÉãÄÉê= OMMRX= léÉê~íáçå= båÇìêáåÖ cêÉÉÇçã= NQNI= j~ó= íç= gìåÉ= OMNQX= ~åÇ léÉê~íáçå=båÇìêáåÖ=cêÉÉÇçã=NQOI=gìäó=íç ^ìÖìëí=OMMN ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW k~îó= ~åÇ j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= `çããÉåÇ~íáçå= jÉÇ~äI k~îó= ~åÇ= j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= ^ÅÜáÉîÉãÉåí jÉÇ~ä= EOFI= j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= dççÇ= `çåÇìÅí jÉÇ~ä= ERFI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê= çå= qÉêêçêáëã bñéÉÇáíáçå~êó= jÉÇ~äI= pÉ~= pÉêîáÅÉ aÉéäçóãÉåí= oáÄÄçå= EQFI= eìã~åáí~êá~å pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~ä=EQFI=däçÄ~ä=t~ê=çå=qÉêêçêáëã pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI= k~íáçå~ä= aÉÑÉåëÉ= pÉêîáÅÉ jÉÇ~äI= k~îó= jÉêáíçêáçìë= råáí `çããÉåÇ~íáçåI= gçáåí= jÉêáíçêáçìë= råáí ^ï~êÇI=iÉííÉê=çÑ=^ééêÉÅá~íáçåI=`ÉêíáÑáÅ~íÉ çÑ=^ééêÉÅá~íáçå

Sgt. Chad E. Jenson

eçãÉ= çÑ êÉÅçêÇW içë ^åÖÉäÉë råáíW OåÇ o~áÇÉê= _~íí~äJ áçåI= péÉÅá~ä léÉê~íáçåë `çãã~åÇ péÉÅá~äíóW `êáíáÅ~ä= ëâáääë çéÉê~íçê aÉéäçóJ ãÉåíëW kçåÉ ^ï~êÇë ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~J íáçåëW j~êáåÉ

`çêéë=dççÇ=`çåÇìÅí=jÉÇ~äI=däçÄ~ä=t~ê=çå qÉêêçêáëã= pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI= k~íáçå~ä aÉÑÉåëÉ=pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~äI=k~îó=jÉêáíçêáçìë råáí= `çããÉåÇ~íáçåI= `ÉêíáÑáÅ~íÉ= çÑ `çããÉåÇ~íáçå= EfåÇáîáÇì~ä= ^ï~êÇF= EOFI iÉííÉê= çÑ= ^ééêÉÅá~íáçå= EPFI= jÉêáíçêáçìë j~ëí=EOF

Gunnery Sgt. Brendan C. Johnson

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW=`ÜáííÉåÇÉåI=sÉêãçåí råáíW= j~J êáåÉ=^Éêá~ä=oÉJ ÑìÉäÉê= qê~åëJ éçêí= pèì~Çêçå QRO péÉÅá~äíóW cáñÉÇ=ïáåÖ=~áêJ Åê~Ñí=ÅêÉï=ã~ëJ íÉê=h`JNPM aÉéäçóJ ãÉåíëW= léÉJ ê~íáçå= båÇìêJ áåÖ= cêÉÉÇçã pçìíÜïÉëí ^ëá~I= gìäó= íç kçîÉãÄÉê OMMOX= léÉê~íáçå= båÇìêáåÖ= cêÉÉÇçãLfê~èá cêÉÉÇçã= pçìíÜïÉëí= ^ëá~I= j~ó= íç= gìäó OMMP ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW=k~îó= ~åÇ j~êáåÉ=`çêéë=^ÅÜáÉîÉãÉåí=jÉÇ~ä=EPFI=^áê jÉÇ~äJpíêáâÉLcäáÖÜíI= j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= dççÇ `çåÇìÅí=jÉÇ~ä=EQFI=^êãÉÇ=cçêÅÉë=oÉëÉêîÉ jÉÇ~ä=EOFI=pÉäÉÅíÉÇ=j~êáåÉ=`çêéë=oÉëÉêîÉ jÉÇ~ä=EPFI=pÉ~=pÉêîáÅÉ=aÉéäçóãÉåí=oáÄÄçå EOFI=fê~è=`~ãé~áÖå=jÉÇ~äI=däçÄ~ä=t~ê=çå qÉêêçêáëã= bñéÉÇáíáçå~êó= jÉÇ~äI= däçÄ~ä t~ê=çå=qÉêêçêáëã=pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~äI=k~íáçå~ä aÉÑÉåëÉ=pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~ä=EOFI=^êãÉÇ=cçêÅÉë pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~äI=^êãÉÇ=cçêÅÉë=bñéÉÇáíáçåJ ~êó= jÉÇ~ä= EPFI= k~îó= jÉêáíçêáçìë= råáí `çããÉåÇ~íáçå= EOFI= = `ÉêíáÑáÅ~íÉ= çÑ= `çãJ ãÉåÇ~íáçå= EfåÇáîáÇì~ä= ^ï~êÇFI= iÉííÉê= çÑ ^ééêÉÅá~íáçå=ERF

Sgt. Julian M. Kevianne

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW a~ää~ë råáíW j~J êáåÉ=^Éêá~ä=oÉJ ÑìÉäÉê= qê~åëJ éçêí= pèì~Çêçå QRO péÉÅá~äíóW cáñÉÇ=ïáåÖ=~áêJ Åê~Ñí=ÅêÉï=ã~ëJ íÉê=h`JNPM aÉéäçóJ ãÉåíëW= = léÉJ ê~íáçå= båÇìêJ áåÖ= cêÉÉÇçã NOKOI= kçîÉãJ ÄÉê= OMNO= íç j~êÅÜ=OMNP ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW pÉäÉÅíÉÇ j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= oÉëÉêîÉ= jÉÇ~ä= EOFI= pÉ~ pÉêîáÅÉ= aÉéäçóãÉåí= oáÄÄçåI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê çå=qÉêêçêáëã=bñéÉÇáíáçå~êó=jÉÇ~äI=^êãÉÇ cçêÅÉë= oÉëÉêîÉ= jÉÇ~äI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê= çå qÉêêçêáëã= pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI= k~íáçå~ä aÉÑÉåëÉ= pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI= iÉííÉê= çÑ ^ééêÉÅá~íáçå=ESFI=`ÉêíáÑáÅ~íÉ=çÑ=`çããÉåÇ~J íáçå=EfåÇáîáÇì~ä=^ï~êÇF==

Staff Sgt. William J. Kundrat

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW=cêÉÇÉêáÅâI=j~êóä~åÇ råáíW OåÇ= o~áÇÉê= _~íí~äáçåI= péÉÅá~ä léÉê~íáçåë=`çãã~åÇ péÉÅá~äíóW `êáíáÅ~ä=ëâáääë=çéÉê~íçê aÉéäçóãÉåíëW léÉê~íáçå= båÇìêáåÖ cêÉÉÇçãLléÉê~íáçå=fê~èá=cêÉÉÇçãI=j~êÅÜ íç=gìåÉ=OMMPX=léÉê~íáçå=fê~èá=cêÉÉÇçã=QJ SI= pÉéíÉãÄÉê= OMMR= íç= cÉÄêì~êó= OMMSX léÉê~íáçå=fê~èá=cêÉÉÇçã=RJTI=cÉÄêì~êó=íç ^éêáä=OMMSX=aÉéäçóÉÇ=íç=pÉåÉÖ~äI=^éêáä=íç j~ó= OMNMX= léÉê~íáçå= fåÜÉêÉåí= oÉëçäîÉI aÉÅÉãÄÉê=OMNR=íç=gìåÉ=OMNS

^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW aÉÑÉåëÉ jÉêáíçêáçìë pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI `çãÄ~í= ^Åíáçå oáÄÄçåI= pÉ~ pÉêîáÅÉ= aÉJ éäçóãÉåí= oáÄJ Äçå=EQFI=j~êáåÉ `çêéë= dççÇ `çåÇìÅí= jÉÇ~ä EQFI= ^ÑÖÜ~åJ áëí~å= `~ãJ é~áÖå= jÉÇ~ä EPFI= fê~è= `~ãJ é~áÖå= jÉÇ~ä ERFI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê çå= qÉêêçêáëã bñéÉÇáíáçå~êó= jÉÇ~äI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê= çå qÉêêçêáëã= pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI= k~íáçå~ä aÉÑÉåëÉ=pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~äI=gçáåí=jÉêáíçêáçìë råáí= ^ï~êÇI= k~îó= jÉêáíçêáçìë= råáí `çããÉåÇ~íáçå= EOFI= = k~îó= råáí `çããÉåÇ~íáçå= jÉÇ~äI= mêÉëáÇÉåíá~ä= råáí `áí~íáçåJk~îóI= k^ql= jÉÇ~äJfp^c ^ÑÖÜ~åáëí~åI=`ÉêíáÑáÅ~íÉ=çÑ=`çããÉåÇ~íáçå EfåÇáîáÇì~ä=^ï~êÇF=EOF

Sgt. Talon R. Leach

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW=`~ää~ï~óI=jáëëçìêá råáíW= OåÇ o~áÇÉê= _~íí~J äáçåI= péÉÅá~ä léÉê~íáçåë `çãã~åÇ péÉÅá~äíóW `êáíáÅ~ä= ëâáääë çéÉê~íçê aÉéäçóJ ãÉåíëW= léÉJ ê~íáçå=fåÜÉêÉåí oÉëçäîÉI aÉÅÉãÄÉê=OMNR íç=gìäó=OMNS ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW k~îó= ~åÇ= j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= ^ÅÜáÉîÉãÉåí jÉÇ~äI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê= çå= qÉêêçêáëã bñéÉÇáíáçå~êó= jÉÇ~äI= pÉ~= pÉêîáÅÉ aÉéäçóãÉåí= oáÄÄçåI= j~êáåÉ= `çêéë= dççÇ `çåÇìÅí= jÉÇ~ä= EOFI= däçÄ~ä= t~ê= çå qÉêêçêáëã= pÉêîáÅÉ= jÉÇ~äI= k~íáçå~ä aÉÑÉåëÉ=pÉêîáÅÉ=jÉÇ~äI=k~îó=jÉêáíçêáçìë råáí= `çããÉåÇ~íáçåI= = `ÉêíáÑáÅ~íÉ= çÑ ^ééêÉÅá~íáçå=EPF

Sgt. Owen J. Lennon

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‘Forever westbound’ The Memorial’s Design

PageT Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

Installation serves as tribute, sign of hope


ome design characteristics for the Yanky 72 Plane Crash Memorial were obvious. First, the installation should contain the names of those being memorialized. And it should explain simply and respectfully that they had died during an air crash in Leflore County while serving their country. This information is included. Secondly, the structure should be hardy, built with long-lasting materials. The installation is being made from marble, granite and brick set in reinforced concrete. The 2-foot-square granite markers contain the names of the 15 lost Marines and one Navy corpsman. They form a 30-foot circle. Also, it should have details: flags and emblems, and, of course, landscaping. The memorial is backed by the Marine Corps flag, the Navy flag and the U.S. flag and contains seals from the two branches of service. Beyond these, the installation needed more: something air-bound, a wisp of spirit, a bit of hope and comfort for its visitors. That’s what designer Allan Hammons, of Greenwood’s Hammons and Associates, had foremost in mind when he started making drawings of what the memorial might be. “The aircraft involved becomes part of your thinking,” Hammons said. So he centered the installation with an image of the KC-130T aircraft, undamaged, and arranged in a significant direction, the one in which it was heading right before the crash. All of this will be covered with a cargo parachute that’s to be lifted during an unveiling, around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan M. Lohrey

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW Middletown, Indiana råáíW 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command péÉÅá~äíóW S p e c i a l amphibious reconnaissance corpsman aÉéäçóJ ã É å í ë W Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2010 to May 2011; Operation Inherent Resolve, July 2016 to January 2017. ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW= Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon (2), Good Conduct Medal (3), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon

Sgt. Joseph J. Murray

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW Duval, Florida råáíW 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command péÉÅá~äíóW=Critical skills operator

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This will follow a 10 a.m. service at H.G. Carpenter Auditorium at Mississippi Valley State University. Buses will be available to transport visitors from the auditorium to the installation site next to the incubator building owned by Leflore County across U.S. 82 from the university. The building was used as a base operations during recovery after the crash. Clifton Addison of Purvis, Yanky 72 Memorial chairman for the Marine Corps League’s Mississippi Department, said parking will be spare near the installation site and suggested that those at the service plan to use the shuttle buses. People who want to walk should wear comfortable shoes and clothing because of the distance between the auditorium and the incubator building. U.S. 82 will be closed briefly to allow the

buses to cross the highway. Addison declined to say what the installation cost, but earlier this year, he and the League were trying to raise $80,000 for the weekend. Contributions have been made from The Wingman Foundation, Marine Raider Foundation, Marine Corps Reserve Association, Marine Corps Air Transport Association, Marine Battleherk Project, the Leflore County Board of Supervisors and the Greenwood City Council. The Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce has worked to make arrangements for the families of the fallen who will be attending the memorial service and participating in other activities during the weekend. Addison said when the installation first was being organized, he asked Leflore County District 1 Supervisor Sam

Abraham about the project and, among other things, Abraham recommended Hammons and Associates for the task of the installation’s design. Addison heard from Hammons throughout the process. “I am overwhelmed by what he has done,” Addison said. The image of the aircraft was drawn in outline as seen from above. One wing has its number, 000 NY. The letters signify where it was based: Newburgh, New York. The craft, when it passed over Mississippi, was headed to El Centro, California, from Cherry Point, North Carolina. When it last had radar contact, it was flying westward, Hammons said. “I wanted them to be forever flying at that heading. Their spirit is out there. My head likes to think of them as forever westbound.” n

aÉéäçóãÉåíëW Operation Enduring Freedom, September 2010 to March 2 0 1 1 ; Operation Enduring Freedom, January 2012 to July 2012 ^ï~êÇë=~åÇ ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, Certificate of Commendation (Individual A w a r d ) , Meritorious Mast

Washington råáíW Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 péÉÅá~äíóW=Aircraft ordnance technician aÉéäçóãÉåíëW==None ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW= Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Letter of Appreciation (2), Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award)

Unit Commendation, Certificate of Appreciation, Letter of Appreciation (3)

pqlov=_v=prp^k=jlkqdljbov=n obkabofkd=`lroqbpv=lc=^ii^k=e^jjlkp

Cpl. Collin J. Schaaff

eçãÉ= çÑ êÉÅçêÇW= Pierce,

Sgt. Dietrich A. Schmieman

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW Benton, Washington råáíW= 2nd R a i d e r Battalion, S p e c i a l Operations Command péÉÅá~äíóW Critical skills operator aÉéäçóJ ã É å í ë W Operation Enduring Freedom, September 2010 to March 2011; Operation Enduring Freedom, January to July 2012 Awards and decorations: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious

Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Snowden

eçãÉ=çÑ=êÉÅçêÇW Dallas Unit: Marine Aerial Refueler Tr a n s p o r t Squadron 452 péÉÅá~äíóW Fixed wing aircraft crew master KC-130 aÉéäçóJ ã É å í ë W Operation Enduring Freedom 14.1 Tr a n s i t i o n , June 2014; Operation Enduring Freedom 14.2 Transition, July to August 2014; Special Purpose MAGTF, October 2014 to January 2015 ^ï~êÇë= ~åÇ= ÇÉÅçê~íáçåëW Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal-Strike/Flight, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (3), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award), Letter of Appreciation (2)

PageU Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, July 11, 2018 v^khv=TO =======================================================================================================================================================================

soul, in Greenwood, inspiration awaits around every corner.


Savor the culinary traditions and get hands-on at The Viking Cooking School Explore the history of blues legend Robert Johnson Luxuriate in a truly upscale spa experience take in the architecture and atmosphere featured in The Help On behalf of Gr Greenwood, een nwood, w wee w welcome elcome the families of Wander through shops brimming with artsy treasures +-:7E[V-:0;ĹŠ1>;A>9;?@?5:/1>1/;:0;81:/1? !A> + -:7E[V-:0;ĹŠ1>;A>9;?@?5:/1>1/;:0;81:/1? !A> Hit41->@?->1C5@4E;A-?C1/;9919;>-@1E;A>8;B10 and 41the ->@?rivers ->1C5@4 E;Aback -?C1roads /;99for 19;pure >-@1E;outdoor A>8;B10adventure

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In gr ratitude atitude ffor or our servic gratitude service members at home and abroad, who risk their lives in the protection of ours.

Yanky 72 Memorial Edition  
Yanky 72 Memorial Edition