Fallen Camp Lejeune Service Members Identified
The military has identified the seven service members based at Camp Lejeune who died in a plane crash in Mississippi. Six Marines and a sailor on the flight were assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune. They are: Staff Sergeant Robert Cox; Staff Sergeant William Kundrat; Sergeant Chad Jenson; Sergeant Talon Leach; Sergeant Joseph Murray; Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman; and Petty Officer Ryan Lohrey.
The battalion is the same unit that lost seven Marines in a helicopter crash two years ago.
In a press conference at Camp Lejeune Friday, Colonel Steven Grass said the top priority for Marine Special Operations Command - or MARSOC - was to take care of the families of the fallen.
“The Marines and sailors of MARSOC have been similarly tested before, and having been around this organization since its creation, I'm impressed with the absolute strength and resilience that have been absolute hallmarks of MARSOC,” Grass said.
In all, 16 service members died when the plane went down on Monday. Grass said the two accidents are a tragic coincidence.
“However, it does not affect how we move out to care for our fallen, to take care of their families, and move on as an organization,” he said.
Grass declined to comment on the crash, which is still under investigation.