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Holland Marine among service members killed in helicopter crash

Posted at 3:41 PM, Mar 13, 2015

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Military officials confirmed Friday that U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif was among the seven Marines killed when an army Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training mission off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

There were 11 service members total on board the helicopter.  The plane crashed Tuesday night during a training exercise in the Pensacola area.

According to the Marine Corps Times, the other Marines killed in the crash were:  Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III, Master Sgt. Thomas Saunders, Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn, Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp and Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol.

Staff Sgt. Blaylock and Staff Sgt. Bawol were also from Michigan, according to the Marine Corps Times. 

The seven Marines on board that flight were based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.   Four members of the Louisiana National Guard were also killed, but their names have not yet been released.

Sgt. Seif was awarded the Silver Star for his heroism while serving in Afghanistan.  In July 2012, Seif and his unit were working to capture an enemy insurgent. He was with Sgt. Justin Hansen from Traverse City.

Hansen was shot several times as they approached the compound. Seif didn`t wait for reinforcements; instead, he secured the compound on his own. He then returned to treat his wounded fellow Marine.

Despite Seif’s efforts, Hansen did not make it. However, Seif’s bravery did not go unnoticed. In addition to earning the Silver Star for those actions, he was also named “Marine of the Year” in 2013.