On April 15, decorated Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif was laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. He was reportedly buried in Section 60, with fallen soldiers who lost their lives at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to ABC News, the 27-year-old’s untimely death was the result of a training accident back in March.
On March 10, Seif was involved in a nighttime helicopter training session when the UH-60 Black Hawk military helicopter crashed on along the Florida panhandle due to dense fog, reports the Holland Sentinel. Seif was killed along with fellow marines Marcus Bawol and Marine Trevor Blaylock.
According to previous reports regarding the crash, those who died were deemed some of the most highly skilled Marine and army pilots. Among the 11 crash victims, there were members of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), two pilots, and crew members with the Louisiana National Guard.
The horrific crash took place four days after he was honored with the Silver Star Medal. Seif, a critical skills operator with 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, received the award for his courageous acts during Operation Enduring Freedom, which took place in Afghanistan back in July of 2012, reports MLive. Seif reportedly helped wounded team member Sgt. Justin Hansen, who was shot several times in the line of fire. He cleared a compound alone and returned to help a severely injured Hansen, all while risking his own life. The heroic act led to the prestigious honor, which Seif accepted on behalf of his team.
The highly lauded accolade is considered the third-highest military combat decoration award that can be given to members of the U.S. Air Force. In 2013, Seif was also deemed USO’s “Marine of the Year.” His wife, Dawn, whom he leaves, also attended the awards ceremony. An American flag was presented to her at the burial. She is also expecting their first child.
[Image via Department of Defense]