MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, HI, UNITED STATES
MARINE CORP BASE, Hawaii - Nearly 100 Marines, sailors, family members and friends gathered today to honor six Marines of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 who were killed Jan. 19 when their CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter went down in Afghanistan.
Honored were Capt. Nathan R. McHone, pilot; Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, pilot; Master Sgt. Travis W. Riddick, crew chief; Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, aerial observer; Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, crew chief; and Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, crew chief.
The HMH-363 “Red Lions” were deployed to Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province in August 2011 and returned to Marine Corps Base Hawaii earlier this month.
During the service, the unit chaplain, squadron mates, and the squadron commanding officer, Lt. Col. Mark Revor, spoke about the fallen Marines. A photo and traditional “battlefield cross” represented each Marine, including a military aviator helmet, replacing the traditional infantry helmet atop a service rifle, with boots in front and identification tags which hung from the rifle and swung in the breeze.
The service included a roll call, where the missing Marines’ names were called out to the squadron in formation, the playing of “Taps,” a 21-gun salute, and the “Marines’ Hymn” played slowly and reverently by the band.
“Just as these six supported their unit and commander in life, their spirits, their high standards, their excellence, they raised us all up to not just finish the deployment, but to make it matter,” said Revor.
After the service, families and guests were welcomed forward to the battlefield crosses to pay respects. Many made their way across the flight line to the water as Riddick’s family spread his ashes, leis and flower petals into the waters of Kaneohe Bay.
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