NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Louisiana National Guard has identified the four Hammond-based members killed last week when a helicopter crashed off of Florida's panhandle.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Wayne Griffin Jr, of Delhi; Chief Warrant Officer 4 George David Strother, of Alexandria; Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron, of Thibodeaux; and Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich, of Fairfax County, Virginia; died when a UH-60M Black Hawk they were riding on crashed into the Santa Rosa Sound, Florida.
"These Guardsmen represent the best of us," said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, the adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard. "These are brave men, true men. These Heroes' names will forever be etched in our hearts and minds."
Eleven service members died following a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash. The crash happened during a routine training exercise.
The helicopter was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. on March 10. The helicopter went down off of Navarre Beach on Santa Rosa Sound, which is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico between Pensacola and Destin.
Four soldiers involved in the crash were from a Hammond, Louisiana-based National Guard unit. Seven Marines based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were also on board when the helicopter went down.
The pilots involved in the crash were instructor pilots. The entire crew had several thousand hours of experience, officials say.
Military officials released the names of the seven Special Forces Marines who were killed on Friday.
Those killed were all stationed at from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They were identified Friday as: Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III of Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Master Sgt. Thomas Saunders of Camp Lejeune; Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn of Queens, New York; Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock of Lake Orion, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp of Port Washington, Wisconsin; Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif of Holland, Michigan; and Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol from Warren, Michigan.
All were from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command.