Remembering the 19 Marines killed during a training mission 24 years ago

Remembering the 19 Marines killed during a training mission 24 years ago


MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — Today in Marana, a memorial service was held at the Marana Regional Airport to honor the 19 Marines who lost their lives in a crash during a training mission on April 8, 2000.

During a training mission, an MV-22 Osprey tilt rotorcraft crashes at Marana Regional Airport.

19 Marines killed in action:

  • Sergeant Jose Alvarez
  • Lance Corporal Jason T. Duke
  • Second Lieutenant Clayton J. Kennedy
  • Kenneth O. Paddio
  • Corporal Kang Sorel
  • Pfc. Gabriel C. Clevenger
  • Lance Corporal Jesus Gonzalez Sanchez
  • Lance Corporal Jorge A. Morin
  • Pfc. George P. Santos
  • Private Adam L. Tatro
  • Pfc. Alfred Corona
  • Lance Corporal Seth G. Jones
  • Corporal Adam C. Neely
  • Lance Corporal Keoki P. Santos
  • Corporal Eric J. Martinez
  • Major John A. Blau
  • Major Brooks S. Gruber
  • Corporal Kelly S. Keith
  • Staff Sergeant William B. Nelson

This operation marks 24 years since the accident. Organizers said it was the largest number of participants in recent years. One of those in attendance was Major Mark Davis.
“I was exercising. I was an operations officer in Yuma, and this flight in which the Marines died was part of that exercise,” Major Davis said.

Davis said it was important to attend the service to honor Marine Corps Corporal Eric J. Martinez.

“This is the first time I’ve seen this, and it was a really professional ceremony with a really great turnout,” Major Davis said. “I was really proud to see it all work out the way it did because it really honors those who have passed away.”

During the mission, the Marines were named and recognized one by one. Major Davis said he believes “some Americans may forget that we are losing warriors not only in combat, but also in training.” So remembering these gentlemen every year is our way of remembering them. ”

Mike Flynn, deputy national commander of the Marine Corps Federation, served as master of ceremonies for the memorial service. He said they are doing everything they can to honor them.

“Unfortunately, we lose servicemen and women every year, and this is a small piece that hits close to home to us. We want to keep their memory alive,” Flynn said. .

Flynn hopes to have families of fallen Marines attend next year’s service to mark the 25th anniversary of the crash.

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madison thomas Joined KGUN 9 as a member in July 2023 multimedia journalist. She graduated from Arizona State University in May 2023 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She was a lifelong Arizona resident and grew up in Douglas. Madison is excited to share the story of the community where she grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Madison via email. madison.thomas@kgun9.com or by connecting Instagram, twitter or Facebook.





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