San Diego Military Bases Mourn The Loss Of Sailors, Marines
Military bases around San Diego honored the troops who died in the bombing in Kabul and in a helicopter accident on board the USS Lincoln, including a moment of silence Friday at Naval Base San Diego.
It was a terrible month for San Diego’s military community.
“Definitely in a long time, we have not seen this many service members die all at once. Obviously it’s a dangerous job and sailors do pass from time to time. Whether it’s from armed conflict or in the nature of the job that we do,” said Capt. Ted Carlson, commander of Naval Base San Diego.
Nine Marines and a sailor from Camp Pendleton were among the 13 who died Aug. 26 during an attack outside the airport in Kabul. Less than a week later, 5 sailors died in a training accident when a helicopter from the USS Lincoln crashed off the coast. Just two years into his service, Boatswain's Mate Seaman Joshua Holmes suggested Friday’s moment of silence at Naval Base San Diego to honor all of the dead.
“Everything we’ve been through this past year, just to be hit deep in the month of August. It hits deep to heart in the military because you don’t ever want to hear that you’ve lost somebody,” he said.
Holmes is from Riverside. Several of the Marines killed in Kabul were from the same region. His dad is friends with one of the fathers of a Marine who died.
“This small gesture is going to go a very long way and I hope all of the families see that we remember the fallen victims. We remember each and every one of them. From the 13 in Afghanistan to the five in San Diego in the helo crash. We’re going to remember each and every one of them to the end of time,” Holmes said.
It’s one of several ceremonies happening around the county, mostly outside the public view, including at Naval Air Station North Island, home to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8.
“It gives our service members, that are struggling with this, a chance to find some closure. To find some peace, in a moment here, own service,” said Chaplain Cmdr. Charles Luff.
Funerals have been going on around the country as the bodies return home. A makeshift memorial continues to form outside the gates of Camp Pendleton.
On a less somber note, the first Marines from the unit sent to guard the airport in Kabul arrived overnight at Pendleton. The rest of Gulf Company, of the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines is expected to return to a more public welcome in the coming days.