Posted by Curt on 19 July, 2005 at 7:14 pm. Be the first to comment!


Navy SEAL Daniel Healy was laid to rest yesterday:

Friends and family gathered on a rocky point in Rye on Sunday morning for a memorial service honoring the 36-year-old Exeter native.

Healy was one of 16 Americans who died on June 28 when the MH-47 Chinook helicopter he was riding in crashed in eastern Afghanistan. The helicopter was transporting soldiers to a battle against militants.

Jake Kohlhase said he knew Healy in the short time between high school and joining the military. Healy went into the Navy just before Kohlhase joined the Marines, he said.

Kohlhase said the memorial service was “very nice” and especially moving because Healy was so young.

“He?s actually the first person that I?ve really known since this thing started in Afghanistan and Iraq that?s passed,” said Kohlhase.

Healy joined the Navy in 1990 and was a Navy SEAL for 13 years. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor and was sent to Afghanistan in March. He was scheduled to come home this November.

There was also a memorial for Gene Axelson: (If anyone has a picture of Gene, please send it my way)

A team of elite Navy SEALs honored a fallen teammate at a memorial service in Los Altos Monday afternoon.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Gene Axelson, 29, of Cupertino died in Afghanistan’s Kunar province last month in the deadliest operation carried out by a Navy special-operations team since World War II.

On Monday, hundreds of mourners packed the First Baptist Church of Los Altos, dabbing away tears as they watched a slide show portraying a young Axelson dressing up for Halloween, playing miniature golf and getting married.

For two hours, friends who knew Axelson from the church and from the SEALs reminisced about his quiet self-confidence and his focus on what was important — family, faith and country.

No members of Axelson’s immediate family spoke during the service, though his parents, Cordell and Donna, his brother, Jeff, and his wife, Cindy, met with mourners at a reception in the church gym after the service.

Altogether, 11 SEALs — members of the Navy’s Sea, Air and Land units — and eight Army Special Operations aviators died when a four-man reconnaissance team that included Axelson came under fire June 28. Only one SEAL survived.

A graduate of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Axelson joined the SEALs after graduating from California State University-Chico.

Friends say Axelson was following in the footsteps of another member of his church, the First Baptist Church of Los Altos. Now retired from the SEALs, Ross Hangebrauck, 31, brought a video to show to the mourners “to better understand what Matt was part of and what he stood for.”

Gary Carroll, who was a youth leader at the church when Axelson was growing up, said Axelson’s quiet integrity and love of adventure made him a natural for the SEALs.

Axelson was a “dark alley guy,” Carroll said — a guy who would follow a friend into a dangerous place without asking any questions. “He wouldn’t run,” Carroll said. “He wouldn’t say much, but he’d go with you.”

Scott Spielman, an uncle, recalled how one of his acquaintances had asked why Axelson had signed up for such a dangerous mission. “Matt fought for a noble and worthy cause, to protect our freedoms — yours and mine,” Spielman said.

He pointed to a quote from the British philosopher John Stuart Mill that was emblazoned on a shirt Axelson received as part of his SEAL training. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things,” the quote goes, concluding that it is worse to have nothing to fight for.

On Sunday James Erik Suh was also remembered:

While James Erik Suh was growing up in Deerfield Beach, his father would take him by bike to services at Community Presbyterian Church, determined to teach him faith and values. Friends and residents gathered there Sunday to remember Suh, who was killed last month in Afghanistan.

Suh was part of a Navy SEAL commando team whose helicopter was shot down as they tried to rescue a group of comrades who were under heavy fire from militant rebels. Those at Sunday’s service remembered the 27-year-old as a determined and gifted man who followed his dreams by joining the elite military unit.

“Out of everyone I know, he is the bravest,” childhood friend Frank Portugal said. “He was the first to jump off the boat, the first to climb a tree, the first to help out a friend.”

Born Sung Gap Suh to Korean immigrants in 1977, Suh was raised in Deerfield Beach by his father, who worked as a laborer for an art wholesaler. He excelled at math at the University of Florida but decided to join the Navy when he graduated.

Linda Cleveland of Boca Raton, whose late son, Erik, was Suh’s best friend, recalled Suh asking her how to break the news to his father that he wanted to be a Navy SEAL rather than pursue a more secure future in business. Cleveland said Suh wanted to defend a country he loved so much and that his father took the decision to enlist better than Suh expected.

“He became the best of the best,” Cleveland said.

Suh was one of 16 killed when his helicopter went down June 28 in Afghanistan’s mountainous eastern border region. The Chinook helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and flew on for about a mile before crash-landing on the side of a mountain and tumbling into a steep ravine.

May these hero’s rest in peace.

Matthew at Froggy Ruminations attended the below memorial

and posted him impressions and thoughts:

As I approached the dais I noticed that the men of SDVT 1 had set up displays to commemorate their fallen brothers, displays that flooded me with emotion upon seeing them. On the left side of the stage were 11 pairs of UDT Duck Feet swim fins tips down, ankle straps crossed, sitting beneath a desert painted M-4 rifle with its muzzle downward topped by a desert cammie helmet. A SEAL’s Cross. Five of these had a Hawaiian lei placed around the rifle to signify the five sailors from Hawaii that had perished. On a table behind the rifles were shadow boxes for each man containing their full compliment of military awards, rank insignia, and a tri folded American flag. Above each shadow box was a large photo of each man. On another table just to the side was another display consisting of five sets of UDT Duck Feet draped with a UDT life jacket and topped with an old style oval shaped SCUBA facemask that had the name and BUD/S class number of each man engraved on the glass. Leaning on each was a Navy K-bar knife that had each man?s name and BUD/S class engraved upon it as well.

I felt better having had the opportunity to express those emotions with others of like mind, and yet I still felt a sense of distance from my comrades across the aisle somehow. And then it all changed. One of the men from SDVT 1 called out,

?Miiiiiiiiiike Murphyyyyyyyyyy!!!!? I knew exactly what to do. So did every SEAL within the sound of his booming voice. In perfect unison with precise inflection and emphasis we all replied, ?HOOYAH, Mike Murphy!?

?Daaaaaan Heeeeealyyyyy!!!? ?HOOYAH, Dan Healy!?

?Maaaaatt Axelsooooooonnnnn!!!? ?HOOYAH, Matt Axelson!?

?Shaaaaane Pattoooooooonnnn!!!? ?HOOYAH, Shane Patton!?

?Jaaaaames Suuuuuuuuhhhh!!!? ?HOOYAH, James Suh!?

The circle was complete.


Navy Seal Hero’s Update II
Navy Seal Hero’s, Update
Navy Seal Hero’s

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