The United States observed Veterans’ Day weekend, expressing appreciation for the courage of its military personnel who risk their lives to safeguard the nation’s freedoms. Amidst the nationwide gratitude, the Army was in mourning over a significant loss.
On the 10th of November, Friday, a tragic incident occurred as five individuals serving in the US Army Special Operations forces lost their lives following the crash of their MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter into the Mediterranean Sea.
This unfortunate event transpired during a training exercise focused on refueling, just off the coast of Cyprus. Military authorities attribute the accident to a “mishap.”
Lieutenant General Jonathan P. Braga conveyed the military’s sorrow over the passing of the “five remarkable soldiers,” each hailing from families with longstanding military service connections spanning multiple generations. On Monday, the Department of Defense issued a statement disclosing the identities of the soldiers.
At the age of 24, Sergeant Cade M. Wolfe, a native of Mankato, Minnesota, tragically lost his life. His father, Scott Wolfe, serves as a deputy with the Waseca County Sheriff’s Department, which conveyed condolences for the officer’s family through a social media post. In recognition of Wolfe and the four other service members, Governor Tim Walz (D) of Minnesota issued an order to lower the flags in the state to half-staff.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, aged 34, hailing from Sacramento, California, is survived by his wife and two daughters, aged five and one. In an interview with ABC 10, Reanna Walton, who served with him in Korea, expressed that Barnes had a radiant smile that brightened up any room. She noted his passion for training and his deep love for aviation.
Staff Sergeant Tanner W. Grone, aged 26, hailing from Gorham, New Hampshire, tragically passed away. Expressing his condolences, Steve Grone, the father of the deceased, mentioned that his son had unanticipatedly left behind plans and dreams. Governor Chris Sununu (R) of New Hampshire also issued a statement, extending sympathy to the Grone family.
At the age of 27, Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, a resident of Apache Junction, Arizona, enlisted in the military in 2015 with a lifelong aspiration to join special operations. Survived by his wife and three children, Southard’s dedication to his military service is remembered by his family.
Chief Warrant Officer Dwyer, aged 38, completed his education at West Point. William E. Cooper, the mayor of Enterprise, Alabama, the town where Dwyer attended high school, urged the community to offer prayers for the soldier’s wife, three sons, and extended family.
President Joe Biden released a statement expressing that he and the first lady are keeping the families of the soldiers in their thoughts and prayers.