Photos, names released of 15 Marines, 1 Navy sailor lost in crash

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WNCT) — The Marine Corps has officially announced the names and released pictures of those who died in the KC0130T Hercules crash in Mississippi on July 10.

Those who were stationed at Camp Lejeune were:

Joseph J. Murray
Pay entry base date: Aug. 31, 2009
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Aug. 1, 2014
Home of record: Duval, Florida
Present Duty Station: 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command
Military Occupational Specialty: 0372, Critical Skills Operator
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom, September 2010 to March 2011; Operation Enduring Freedom, January 2012 to July 2012
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3); Combat Action Ribbon; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2); Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2); Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Unit Commendation; NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan; Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award); Meritorious Mast

Murray’s family recalls him as a ukulele player, former surfer kid and deeply religious family man who excelled in the Marine Corps.

Terry Murray told reporters Wednesday the 26-year-old special operations Marine had been a surfer at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida, who surprised his military veteran parents by joining the Marines.

The father said his son was at the center of family life and his Marine units, sharing his Christian faith by serving others and his country. Terry Murray said one Marine told him that Joseph hummed praise songs constantly on patrol.

“When Joseph stopped singing praises, they took their safeties off their weapons, because they immediately thought something was up,” Terry Murray said.

Murray leaves a widow, Gayle, and four children — a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and twin 1-year-olds.

“He loved to play his guitar and ukulele for us,” Gayle Murray said in a statement. “What he wanted most in the world besides our happiness was to destroy evil on this earth.

Murray, who joined the Marines in 2009, was stationed at Camp Lejeune.


Ryan M. Lohrey
Pay entry base date: Sept. 26, 2007
Rank and date of rank: Petty Officer 2nd Class/ Dec. 16, 2012
Home of record: Middletown, IN
Present Duty Station: 2d Marine Raider Battalion, MARSOC
Military Occupational Specialty: Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2010 to May 2011; Operation Inherent Resolve, July 2016 to January 2017.
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Purple Heart; Combat Action Ribbon (2); Good Conduct Medal (3); Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2); Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; NATO Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon; Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon

Lohrey was a high school football standout in Indiana who had gotten married weeks before the crash.

His father, Michael Lohrey, told The Herald Bulletin newspaper that his son enlisted in the Navy after high school and survived two tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, making his death on the way to training all the more tragic.

“I never would have expected this to happen,” he said.

Lohrey said his son, who had two children of his own, wanted to use his skills as a medic to eventually pursue a career in nursing. The younger Lohrey, stationed at Lejeune was married in early June.

A high school football and golf teammate, Chris Parrish, told the newspaper the Navy corpsman had a fearless streak when it came to BMX biking, skateboarding and roller-blading.

“He wasn’t scared of anything,” Parrish said. “That’s probably why he was so good in the Navy.”

Indiana’s governor joined a congressman and senator in offering condolences.

“Words cannot express the depth of sorrow I feel for his wife and two young children, especially,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said.


Dietrich A. Schmieman
Pay entry base date: Sept. 20, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Jan. 1, 2014
Home of record: Benton, Washington
Present Duty Station: 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command
Military Occupational Specialty: 0372, Critical Skills Operator
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom, September 2010 to March 2011; Operation Enduring Freedom, January 2012 to July 2012
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2); Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2); Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation; Certificate of Appreciation; Letter of Appreciation (3)

Schmieman joined the Marine Corps at age 19 with an ambition to serve in special operations, his father said.

Schmieman, 26, grew up in Richland, Washington, and enlisted after completing an academic program that allows students to earn a college associate’s degree while they finish high school, said his father Eric Schmieman.

“The most common comments his friends made about him were that he helped them, and he inspired them to live life to the fullest,” Eric Schmieman told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “He certainly did that himself.”

He said his son served in a reconnaissance unit before joining the elite Raider command stationed at Camp Lejeune about two years ago

The Rev. Corey Smith of Richland Lutheran Church, who was Dietrich Schmieman’s youth pastor from sixth grade until he enlisted, said the young man joined the Marines out of a desire to serve others.

“That’s the kind of heart he had,” he said in a phone interview. “He loved to help people.”


Talon R. Leach
Pay entry base date: Jan. 5, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Sept. 1, 2013
Home of record: Callaway, Missouri
Present Duty Station: 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command
Military Occupational Specialty: 0372, Critical Skills Operator
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Inherent Resolve, December 2015 to July 2016
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation; Certificate of
Appreciation (3)

Leach had joined the Marine Corps in 2010 after attending North Callaway High School near Fulton, Missouri. He was part of the 2nd Raider Battalion, stationed at Camp Lejeune.

Leach’s brother-in-law said Thursday that family members weren’t ready to talk

Leach’s survivors include his widow Sara Leach, father Tab Leach, mother Denise Leach, and several siblings.


William J. Kundrat
Pay entry base date: July 30, 2002
Rank and date of rank: Staff Sergeant/Jan. 1, 2011
Home of record: Frederick, Maryland
Present Duty Station: 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command
Military Occupational Specialty: 0372, Critical Skills Operator
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom, March 2003 to June 2003; Operation Iraqi Freedom 4-6, September 2005 to February 2006; Operation Iraqi Freedom 5-7, February 2006 to April 2006; Deployed to Senegal, April 2010 to May 2010; Operation Inherent Resolve, December 2015 to June 2016
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4); Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (4); Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3); Iraq Campaign Medal (5); Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2); Navy Unit Commendation Medal; Presidential Unit Citation-Navy; NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan; Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award) (2)

Kundrat, 33, grew up in Frederick, Maryland, where the Marine’s parents, Joseph and Lynda, still live.

His mother confirmed her son’s death in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Frederick News-Post.

“Every breath of air you take, all the things you’re able to do, you can do those things because of people like my son,” she told the newspaper. “I’ll never forget that.”

Kundrat graduated in 2002 from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, where he played football and lacrosse. He also was an Eagle Scout.

After graduation, he joined the Marines. And in 2004, Kundrat married classmate Ashley Cregger, according to the paper. It said they lived in Holly Ridge, North Carolina, and had two children together.

Kundrat served in Iraq, his mother said, later joining the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command 2nd Marine Raider battalion stationed at Camp Lejeune. Said his mother: “He was a great Marine.”


Chad E. Jenson
Pay entry base date: Sept. 13, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Oct. 1, 2014
Home of record: Los Angeles, California
Present Duty Station: 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command
Military Occupational Specialty: 0372, Critical Skills Operator
Deployment dates and locations: None
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation; Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award) (2); Letter of Appreciation (3); Meritorious Mast (2)

Jenson was remembered by high school teammates as a selfless center on a championship high school football team whose commitment ultimately powered him into the Marines’ elite 2nd Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune.

Kyle Demarco, the quarterback for the Mira Costa High School championship team, told the Daily Breeze that he broke into tears when he learned Jenson had died.

“If I have a kid one day, I want him to have the type of character that Chad did,” Demarco said.

Chuck Arrasmith, Jenson’s offensive line coach in high school, remained close to him after he signed up for the Marines in 2010. He said Jenson didn’t “see a ceiling in his life. He just keeps breaking through and achieving more.”

Arrasmith said it was that relentless drive that powered his preparation to join the special forces. On leave, Jenson filled a backpack with bricks, strapped it to his back and ran up and down the stairs at school. Coaches found him in the school’s pool, trying to turn himself into a swimmer.

“He knew going into that that this was going to be an extreme challenge,” Arrasmith said.


Robert H. Cox
Pay entry base date: July 23, 2007
Rank and date of rank: Staff Sergeant/Oct. 1, 2016
Home of record: Ventura, California
Present Duty Station: 2nd Raider Battalion, Special Operations Command
Military Occupational Specialty: 0372, Critical Skills Operator
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Iraqi Freedom 9.1, March 2009 to June 2009; Operation Iraqi Freedom 9.2, July 2009 to January 2010; Operation Enduring Freedom, May 2011 to December 2011; Operation Inherent Resolve, January 2016 to July 2016
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2); Combat Action Ribbon; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (1); Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3); Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2); Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2); Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation; Navy Unit Commendation Medal; NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan; Letter of Appreciation

The other nine Marines killed in the crash were out of Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, home of a Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron:


Caine M. Goyette
Pay entry base date: Dec. 5, 1994
Rank and date of rank: Major/Nov. 1, 2012
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 7557, KC-130 Aircraft Commander
Deployment dates and locations:  Operation Enduring Freedom, September 2005
Special Purpose MAGTF-12, Dec. 2011 to April 2012; SPMAGTF-12, June 2012 to July 2012; Operation Enduring Freedom 14.1 Transition, June 2014
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty

Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Letter of Appreciation, Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award)

Goyette was a KC-130 Aircraft Commander, the Marines said in a news release Friday.

He had been deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom in September 2005, and was the recipient of many awards and decorations including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.


Sean E. Elliott
Pay entry base date: May 4, 2009
Rank and date of rank: Captain/Oct. 1, 2013
Home of record: Orange, California
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 7557, KC-130 Aircraft Commander
Deployment dates and locations: WesPac16, August 2016 to February 2017
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Korean Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal National Defense Service Medal, Letter of Appreciation (2)

Elliott, one of the plane’s pilots, had a longtime love affair with the C-130. His father, John Elliott, tells San Diego’s Union-Tribune that his son used to take a model C-130 loaded with toy soldiers to bed when he was 4 years old.

“He slept with it like you would a teddy bear,” John Elliott said. “A big plane, in the bed. A silly plastic thing, with the toy soldiers inside. It went to bed with him every night for quite a long time.”

His mother, Cynthia Elliott, said her son was “enamored” with aircraft and the military at least since attending a childhood air show.

A prep standout in tennis, the 6-foot 2-inch Elliott was renowned for a booming serve. His younger brother Erik went pro, but Sean Elliott went to officers’ school, graduating from the University of California, Davis.

“He was always looking out for others, starting with me but then continuing to his fraternity brothers and his Marines,” Erik Elliott said.

Stationed at Stewart, Elliott got his Marine Corps call sign “Puffin” because he refused to hunt the nesting and defenseless birds during a stopover in Iceland, his father said.


Mark A. Hopkins
Pay entry base date: Sept. 4, 2001
Rank and date of rank: Gunnery Sergeant/May 1, 2014
Home of record: Chesapeake, Virginia
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 7372, Tactical Systems Operator/Mission Specialist
Deployment dates and locations: Contingency Operations ISO JTF -536/Humanitarian Mission, January 2005; Operation Enduring Freedom, August 2005 to September 2005; Operation Enduring Freedom 141, May to June 2014; Operation Enduring Freedom 142, July to August 2001
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (5); Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4); Humanitarian Service Medal (4); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Letter of Appreciation; Certificate of Appreciation

Hopkins is being remembered by his family as a “creative, compassionate man who exuded happiness and brightened every room he walked into.”

Hopkins, a navigator stationed at Stewart, joined the Marines in 2001, shortly after graduating from Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Nicknamed “Hoppy,” his deployments included a tour in Okinawa from 2004 to 2006.

Hopkins leaves behind his wife, Patricia and three children, 2-year-old Wyatt, 1-year-old Abby and infant Lewis, according to a family statement released through Hopkins’ church near the air base in New York.

“He was an avid traveler and especially enjoyed spur-of-the-moment road trips — there was never a dull moment with him,” the statement says. “He was a deeply spiritual man who shared his faith with others and lived his life to its fullest.”

Hopkins was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan and his mother and brother live in nearby Belleville. A sister lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, while a brother lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


Brendan C. Johnson
Pay entry base date: Sept. 26, 1994
Rank and date of rank: Gunnery Sergeant/April 1, 2010
Home of record: Chittenden, Vermont
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 6276, Fixed Wing Aircraft Crew Master KC-130
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom Southwest Asia, July 2002 to November 2002; Operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom Southwest Asia, May 2003 to July 2003
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Reserve
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3); Air Medal-Strike/Flight; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (4); Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2); Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (3); Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2); Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal (2); Armed Forces Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (3); Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2); Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award); Letter of Appreciation (5)

Johnson, 46, told his father he had the best job in the Marine Corps.

Kevin Johnson of Colchester, Vermont, recalled his son said, “I get to fly everywhere.” His son was based at Stewart, traveling back and forth across the Atlantic and Pacific and touring many countries.

Brendan Johnson joined the Marines after graduating from Johnson State College in Vermont. A fine arts major, Johnson once surprised the family with portraits he painted based on old pictures of his grandfather and father-in-law when they graduated from Navy boot camp.

The elder Johnson said his son, an active reservist who was taking on more administrative work, was looking to retire next year. Plans included possibly returning to school for a master’s degree and then moving from Stewart at Newburgh New York, to Montana, home to his wife Anna. He said Brendan loved the outdoors and was considering a job as a park ranger or a fish and game warden.

“He was thinking of looking into that, but he said, ‘You know, I’ve got some time,’” Johnson said. “We’ll miss him.”


Joshua M. Snowden
Pay entry base date: July 19, 2004
Rank and date of rank: Staff Sergeant/July 10, 2017
Home of record: Dallas, Texas
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 6276, Fixed Wing Aircraft Crew Master KC-130
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom 14.1 Transition, June 2014; Operation Enduring Freedom 14.2 Transition, July 2014 to August 2014; Special Purpose MAGTF, October 2014 to January 2015
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Reserve
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal-Strike/Flight, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (3), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award); Letter of Appreciation (2)

Snowden, a flight engineer on the transport plane, grew up in the Dallas area and graduated from Highland Park High School in 2004, having already signed up for the Marines, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Sara Quarterman, Snowden’s sister, declined comment Wednesday to The Associated Press, saying “now is not a good time.” She said family members would release a statement later.

On Facebook, Quarterman wrote Tuesday that her 31-year-old brother “loved God, his family and friends, and his country. And he died serving his country and God.”

Snowden himself often displayed his Texas roots and love of the Dallas Cowboys on Facebook, even while stationed at Stewart as an active reservist.

“I can tell you that Josh loved his family and friends, God, his country, and country-western music and dancing,” Snowden’s aunt, Linda Hughes, told the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, New York. “He was one of the warmest, kindest, more patriotic people I’ve ever known.”


Julian M. Kevianne
Pay entry base date: Dec. 1, 2009
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/April 1, 2015
Home of record: Dallas, Texas
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 6276, Fixed Wing Aircraft Crew Master KC-130
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom 12.2, November 2012 to March 2013
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Reserve
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (2); Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Letter of Appreciation (6); Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award)

Kevianne, 31, joined the Marines in 2009 because he wanted to protect and defend the country, his brother told the Detroit Free Press.

“The Marines knocked on my mother’s door at 2 this morning,” Carlo Kevianne said late Tuesday. “They said his plane went down, and they weren’t able to find him.”

A new concrete walkway was poured Tuesday at Carlo Kevianne’s home. Julian’s mother, Tina Albo, carved a tribute to her late son: “Peace of my heart is in heaven.”

John Allen, a cousin of Kevianne, told The Detroit News that Kevianne talked about joining the military when he was younger. Allen said Kevianne could be quiet with people he didn’t know, “but once he was comfortable with you, he was a loud blast of fun.”

“We don’t have any words right now. We’re hurting,” sister Tania Kevianne, 27, told The New York Daily News. “He was the best man.”

Kevianne, an active reservist and flight engineer, was based at Stewart and lived with his wife Sherry Jennings-Kevianne in New Windsor, New York.


Owen J. Lennon
Pay entry base date: Oct. 12, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Jan. 1, 2015
Home of record: Rockland, New York
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 6276, Fixed Wing Aircraft Crew Master KC-130
Deployment dates and locations: Operation Enduring Freedom 12.2, November 2012 to March 2013
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Reserve
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (1); Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award); Meritorious Mast (2); Letter of Appreciation (3); Certificate of Appreciation

Lennon, 26, grew up in Pomona, New York, playing football and tennis for Ramapo High School in Rockland County before graduating in 2008.

A man answering the phone at the family’s home in Pomona confirmed the death to The Journal News, but said the family was grieving and declined to comment.

Lennon’s sister, Kelly Lennon, posted a remembrance on Facebook, saying, “You may have been the youngest, but we always looked up to you. Our hero, Owen Lennon. (broken heart) sending love to the other USMC families that lost loved ones last night.”

Lennon, an active reservist who joined the Marines in 2010, was stationed at Stewart.


Daniel I. Baldassare
Pay entry base date: Sept. 14, 2015
Rank and date of rank: Corporal/June 1, 2017
Home of record: Monmouth, New Jersey
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 6276, Fixed Wing Aircraft Crew Master KC-130
Deployment dates and locations: None
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal

Baldassare, 20, had wanted to be a Marine since he was in middle school, his friend Dan McGowan told WPIX-TV .

“He actually would bring military gloves to football practice and play with them,” said McGowan, who drove his friend to practice in high school. “He was a patriot and all he wanted to do was serve our country. Everyone had a lot of respect for Dan.”

On Wednesday, after the crewmaster of the KC-130 died in the Mississippi crash, a marine sergeant guarded the home where Baldassare grew up in suburban Colts Neck, New Jersey.

That sergeant told the Asbury Park Press that Baldassare’s family wanted privacy and was declining comment.

“We’re so sorry and our heart is just breaking, just breaking for them,” neighbor Rosalind Innucci, said of Baldassare’s parents and sister. Innucci has lived on street for 14 years.

Baldassare, who joined the Marines in 2009, was stationed at Stewart.


Collin J. Schaaff
Pay entry base date: Aug. 26, 2013
Rank and date of rank: Corporal/Dec. 1, 2015
Home of record: Pierce, Washington
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW
Military Occupational Specialty: 6531, Aircraft Ordnance Technician
Deployment dates and locations: None
Current duty status (SMCR, Active duty, etc): Active Duty
Awards and decorations with (# of each award): Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Letter of Appreciation (2); Certificate of Commendation (Individual Award)

Schaaff, 22, joined the Marines in 2013 after graduating from Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, Washington.

Stationed at Stewart, his job included loading ordinance onto planes.

Schaaff and his wife, Sarah Beth Schaff, have a 1-year-old daughter, with a second daughter due in November. The family declined comment through friends.

Tono Sablan went to high school with Schaaff, graduating a year behind him. He said he and Schaaff were in a leadership class.

“As his heart, he was just a fun, goofy guy. Not a day went by without him smiling.”

Schaaff was a member of an Air Force Junior ROTC unit that competed in a national drill competition.

“There was not a question he was joining the Marines,” Sablan said. “That was rock-solid. The type of dedication that he had, if he was committed to something, he was going to go all the way.”