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Marines killed in military helicopter crash identified

Marines killed in military helicopter crash identified
A crew searches Wednesday for the seven Marines and four soldiers killed when a helicopter crashed. (Tony Giberson / Associated Press)

The names of seven Marines killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash off the Florida coast were released by military officials Friday.

They were identified as: Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III of Basking Ridge, N.J.; Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders of Williamsburg, Va.; Staff Sgt. Marcus S. Bawol from Warren, Mich.; Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock of Lake Orion, Mich.; Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn of Queens, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. Kerry M. Kemp of Port Washington, Wis.; and Staff Sgt. Andrew C. Seif of Holland, Mich.

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The helicopter, an Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk, vanished in fog in the Gulf of Mexico during a routine training mission Tuesday night. The Marines were from the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, known as MARSOC, at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The four others killed were from a Hammond, La.-based Army National Guard unit. Their names have not been released.

"All of these men were tremendous professionals," Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander of MARSOC, told reporters. "They were all combat veterans from Afghanistan."

Two helicopters took off in heavy fog on a mission based at Elgin Air Force Base near Pensacola, he said. One returned safely, but the other disappeared.

"These truly are the men who protect our country and protect our way of life," Osterman said.  "They are really just incredible men and women who really deserve great support from our country."

For more national news, follow me on Twitter: @ParviniParlance

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