Showing posts with label Twentynine Palms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twentynine Palms. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What happened to Marine Matthew Kraft, still missing after going on hike?

A year after Marine disappears on High Sierra hike, family still unsure what happened

Orange County Register
Erika I. Ritchie
PUBLISHED: February 24, 2020
...But a special kind of Marine needs no words, symbols or proclamations to describe their love for the Corps. Their love is found in late nights at the office, their stoicism in harsh conditions, genuine concern for subordinates and an obstinate adherence to what is right, regardless of the situation. These Marines live on through their influence and deeds, setting the example for the rest to come. Matt was one of these Marines.”
Marine Matthew Kraft is seen here hiking with his mother, Roxanne Kraft, in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Courtesy of the Kraft family)

Every night, Greg Kraft turns on an electric candle that sits in the window of his family’s Connecticut home.

“I turn it on and I say, ‘God Bless Matt,’ ” Kraft said Friday, Feb. 21, his voice choked with emotion. “In the morning I turn it off and say ‘God Bless Matt.’ “

The candle, in the upstairs middle dormer of his Williamsburg Cape Cod-style home, is lighted so his son, Capt. Matthew Kraft, can find his way back.

Matthew Kraft, a platoon leader with the 1st Battalion/7th Marines at Twentynine Palms, part of the 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton, disappeared after taking leave from the Marine Corps for a two-week backcountry ski trip along the High Sierra Route starting Feb. 24, 2019.

He had planned the rugged trek for his pre-deployment leave, before his unit was to depart for Afghanistan.
That’s when I came to grips with it,” said Greg Kraft. “It’s also the day (March 15) the Marine Corps calls the date of death.”

An official statement, released by the Marine Corps on April 11, said Matthew Kraft died after being “overcome by severe winter storms.”

Kraft was posthumously promoted from 1st Lt. to the rank of Captain.
read it here

Monday, January 16, 2017

Twentynine Palms Marin Killed in Training, Another Wounded

The next time you hear anyone say that most of the suicides occur without being deployed, remember this,
One Marine killed, second wounded in training accident
Marine Corps Times
By: Jeff Schogol
January 15, 2017

One Marine was killed and a second Marine wounded while conducting small arms live-fire training Friday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in California.

Both Marines’ names are being withheld pending next of kin notification, according to a news release from the combat training base. An investigation into the accident has been launched.

The incident happened at 5:05 p.m. Friday as the Marines were preparing for the start of Integrated Training Exercise 2-17, the news release says.

read more here

Training itself is dangerous, as you have just read, and it should be a factor in any report on the rise in suicides among servicemembers.

Then add in the fact that every member of the military, regardless of branch, has received training in what they have been told will prevent PTSD and stop suicides. 

Now add in the simple question we have never heard and explanation for. If that training was not good enough to prevent suicides in non-deployed, then how the hell did they think it would work for those deployed into combat multiple times?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Marine "Flew in out of nowhere" to Save Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman

My brother’s keeper: ‘First Team’ Marine saves drowning sailor
Story by Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

“He flew in out of nowhere and put his life at risk by going into this rip current to swim us both to safety,” Duron said of Yakin. “Throughout his rescue, he reassured me and pulled us both out of the situation.”
Photo By Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo | Lance Cpl. Troy Yakin, landing support specialist, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment,
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.—Standing well above 6 foot tall, with a clean haircut, fresh shave and an air of confidence, Lance Cpl. Troy Yakin is what many would consider a typical Marine. But even the most typical of Marines have a thread of heroism woven within. Whether at home or on the battlefield, answering the call of duty is less of a cognitive thought than it is an instinct.

“Do I think I’m a hero? No,” Yakin said. “I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t think he was dying, I just thought I was helping somebody out.”

On the morning of June 29, 2016, Yakin, a landing support specialist with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and two Marines from his unit were visiting Del Mar Beach aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. In the days leading up to that morning, they had been conducting a joint inspection for 11th Marine Regiment. With their tasks completed earlier than expected, Yakin and his co-workers decided to go to the beach.

“When we were at the beach everybody was having a good time,” Yakin said. “People were surfing, body boarding, all that fun stuff. There was a swimmer who had wandered out too far so the life guard went to get him. It was around that time that someone started screaming for help.”

The person in need was Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Ralph Duron, senior enlisted leader, 21 Area Branch Clinic, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. Like his fellow beach-goers, Duron was enjoying his time in the ocean. The nearly 9-foot waves crashing above didn’t faze him until he was unexpectedly thrown from his board.

read more here

Monday, April 18, 2016

Twentynine Palms Marine Gunned Down in San Bernadino

Sunday, April 17, 2016

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- A 20-year-old U.S. Marine was fatally shot in the parking lot of a strip club in San Bernardino early Sunday morning, police said.

The victim, who was stationed at Twentynine Palms, was gunned down outside Flesh Club Showgirls in the 100 block of W. Hospitality Lane.

San Bernardino police responded to a report of shots fired and a possible shooting around 2:12 a.m.

Upon their arrival, officers found the victim suffering from numerous gunshot wounds. He died as a result of his injuries, police said.
read more here

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Was Public Duped Searching for Missing "Service" Dog?

Attorney claims public was 'duped' by Marine veteran in 'Bring Kai Home' search
KGTV San Diego
Allison Ash
Feb 23, 2016

A Vista woman's plea to find her missing service dog is not all that it appears to be, according to the attorney representing the man accused of stealing the German shepherd.

Attorney Alex Ozols told 10News that former Marine Alexandra Melnick didn't tell the whole story about Kai, who she said disappeared from her Vista home around Thanksgiving 2014.

Melnick launched a massive search for Kai, claiming he was a registered service dog that helped her cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Melnick created a "Bring Kai Home" Facebook page, went on TV and handed out thousands of fliers with Kai's picture, hoping for his return.

Kai was found 9 months later in Texas.

However, what was never revealed at that time was who Kai was living with. It was Melnick's ex-father-in-law.
read more here

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Marines Searching Alaska for Missing "Brother"

U.S. Marines who served with missing snowmachiner travel to Alaska to help search
KTUU 2 News
Dan Carpenter Reporter
Dec 16, 2015
It's been one week since Casey Graham went missing during a snowmachine trip out of McGrath.

A Wildlife State Trooper found Graham's snowmachine last week in open water on the Kuskokwim River but nothing else.

Since then, 13 U.S. Marines, who served with Graham in Afghanistan in the 3rd Light Armored Recon Battalion, have made it their mission to find their brother in arms.

"Right now, the plan is we're going to go head to McGrath, meet up with the local SARs (Search and Rescue), help them out any way we can and, hopefully, bring his family a little bit of happiness for the holidays," said Dexter Kunishige who traveled from Twentynine Palms, California.
read more here

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Twenty Nine Palms Marine Killed In Car Crash

Marine based at 29 Palms killed in car crash
The Desert Sun
Sherry Barkas
November 20, 2015
A Marine based in Twentynine Palms was killed early Wednesday morning in a single-vehicle crash outside of Traver, the California Highway Patrol has confirmed.

Layne Johnson, 19, a private first class armorer with the Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 – or VMU-1 – was northbound on Highway 99 in Tulare County when he may have fallen asleep at the wheel, CHP spokesman Officer Scott Harris said Friday.

Johnson's Volkswagen Jetta drifted onto the shoulder and slammed into a guardrail with so much force that the car went airborne.

The car's roof hit a sign about 4 feet off the ground, Harris said.
read more here

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Death of Twentynine Palms Marine Still Unclear

Twentynine Palms Marine shooting death details unclear
The Desert Sun
Anna Rumer
July 29, 2015
Dominic Pavelko was stationed at the Twentynine Palms
military base as a motor transport operator before he
died as the result of a gunshot wound.
(Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Scholles)
Nearly a month after a 23-year-old Marine died of a gunshot wound at the Twentynine Palms military base, officials have released little information on the circumstances surrounding his death.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Justin Smith confirmed that a Marine died of a gunshot wound on July 2, but said he was unable to release any information surrounding his death other than saying the injury didn't occur during a training exercise.

"Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at this time," he said in an email. "Right now, the focus of the investigation command is bereavement and grief counseling, which are offered to service members and their families at all times, but especially in the light of recent circumstances."

A representative for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service acknowledged there was an ongoing investigation into Dominic Pavelko's death, but declined to comment further.
read more here

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ex-Marine and Wife Found in Burning Car

Ex-Marine, wife dead in car; cops suspect suicide 
Thane Grauel
March 27, 2015
"No way it could be suicide," said Arendt, now a civilian. "He had his whole life planned out ahead of him, investments, he was going to make a business with his wife."
Elijah and Shannon Woodson, both 22, were found about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.

YONKERS A former Marine and his wife found dead late Tuesday in a car at The Mall at Cross County likely committed suicide, police said.

Elijah and Shannon Woodson, both 22, were found about 11:45 p.m. in a car with burning charcoal briquettes according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office. 

The cause of death was asphyxiation. Lt. Patrick McCormack, a police spokesman, said Thursday that the department was not confirming their identities because it was still trying to locate relatives of the two.

"We feel, based on what we found inside the vehicle, that it was a suicide," said Lt. Patrick McCormack, a police spokesman.
read more here

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Twentynine Palms Marines Exposed to Banned Fire Retardant

22 Marines exposed to fire retardant in California accident
By Associated Press
Published: February 13, 2015
The U.S. banned new production of halon in the 1990s because it can deplete ozone in the atmosphere, but its use is still allowed.

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (AP) — Nearly two dozen Marines were treated for exposure to a fire retardant gas Thursday after an extinguishing system accidentally went off in an assault vehicle during a training exercise, but there were no serious injuries, officials said.

An equipment malfunction caused the fire suppression system to go off inside a tank-like amphibious assault vehicle during an afternoon exercise at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, base spokesman Dave Marks said.

There was no fire or explosion but 22 Marines were exposed to halon, Marks said.

All of them were taken to the base hospital. Three were kept overnight for observation and the rest were released to resume training, Marks said.
read more here

Monday, January 26, 2015

Training Accident Claims Lives of Two Marines

2 Marines identified in deadly California helo crash 
The Associated Press
January 25, 2015
Capt. Elizabeth Kealey, left, and 1st Lt. Adam Satterfield, right, were killed when their UH-1Y Venom helicopter crashed during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Friday. The Marines and the aircraft were based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Photo: Marine Corps)
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Sunday as talented pilots.

Capt. Elizabeth Kealey and 1st Lt. Adam Satterfield died from injuries in the crash Friday at the Twentynine Palms Marine base.

They were the only two Marines aboard the UH-1Y Huey helicopter.
read more here

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Orlando Rocked for Cpl. Adam Devine

Adam's road to recovery has not ended yet and has had over 60 surgeries so far. Cpl. Adam Devine's facebook page.
Join Elbows for Adam This is a page for Adam. Please use this page to send well wishes and comments for Adam, Michelle, and Amya as they proceed down the road of recovery!!!

Adam Devine, Dixon IL had a longtime dream to serve his country as a United States Marine! He completed this goal and then some! We all love you Adam!

Adam played hockey as a kid, loved football and track - throwing. He worked hard at all he did. Striving to be the best he can be - always. He did well in sports in high school. Playing on the varsity football team during the 2007 run to the Elite Eight, Adam was a key member of the team. He competed in 2007 and 2008 Illinois State High School Track and Field in Shot Put. He applied to Augustana College in Moline, IL and was accepted for the 2008-09 year, paying football for the Vikings. However, college was not his dream - the Marine Corps Adam worked very hard to meet the standards required and surpassed those qualifications.

Along the way to meeting those high standards of the USMC, Adam met a beautiful young lady named Michelle. It didn't take a whole lot and they fell in love! Adam and Michelle were married in January 2010, after Adam graduated from boot camp. In late May, a gorgeous little bundle of joy, Amya, joined the family. She is the apple of her daddy's eye!

Adam serves in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif. and has been a machine gunner with the Marines since April.

On Wednesday, December 28, about 12:30 p.m. in Afghanistan, or about 2 a.m. Central time, Adam was wounded in action by an improvised explosive device (IED). He was hospitalized at Bastion Role III Medical Treatment facility in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, transferred to another facility, in the Middle East, then transferred to base in Germany and soon will be treated at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD.

Adam is in stable condition, however seriously injured. He has suffered lower extremity amputations, however...those of us that know him, know that this will never stop him!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting this fabulous family at the 3rd Annual Orlando Rocks Fundraiser. This Marine and his family have been through terrible times, lots of trials and tribulations but side by side, they managed to do the nearly impossible for most people.

It was easy to tell when there is this much love, nothing can stop them!

Here are some pictures of the event and the video will go up later today so check back. There was also a news station out there interviewing Adam and I'm checking right now to find the report.s
UPDATE Here is the first video
Cpl. Devine got a call from Graceland! The nurse of Elvis Presley, Marion Justice Cocke spoke with Adam.

Mr. Postman got the crowd on their feet!

Orlando Rocks and Rolls
Orlando Rocks Patriotism Lives

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dying Marine Veteran Gets Last Wish to Hug a Tank

Marines honor veteran's dying wish to hug a tank
Marines Corps Times
By Derrick Perkins, Staff Writer
January 3, 2015
Kenneth White, a Marine veteran from Las Vegas, got his dying wish in December. Marines
aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., let him hug a tank.
(Photo: Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Marine Corps)

An ailing Kenneth White had a final, dying wish: He wanted to hug a tank.

The nearly 80-year-old former tanker, suffering from stage five kidney disease among myriad other health issues, spent 17 years in the Corps with the 4th Tank Battalion. During that time, he served on three different types of tanks — Shermans, Pershings and M48 Pattons — and never lost his love of armor.

So when tankers with the 1st Tank Battalion aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, heard of his last request, they were more than happy to oblige. Getting a request to hug a tank is unusual, but White's sentiments are not, said Sgt. William Milline, a tank crewman who was among the Marines to greet the elderly man and his wife, Carol White.

"From even the schoolhouse to your last day with the tank, it feels as though that's a part of you now," he said, describing what tankers call "The Beast." "It becomes your house, it becomes your weapon; something to ride on, something you're going to have that bond with for the rest of your life."

Despite needing a walker and being weighed down by an oxygen tank, White picked up steam as he approached the first M1A1 Abrams, said Gunnery Sgt. Paul Acevedo, who led the tour. It wasn't long before he was swapping stories with his present-day peers.

"One tanker to the next, the stories really don't change ­­— just the times, the era," Acevedo said.
read more here

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Marine's Missing Wife Found Dead in California Mine Shaft

Marine's Wife Found Dead in California Mine Shaft
Associated Press
by Gillian Flaccus
Aug 19, 2014

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Deep in a mine shaft in the California desert, the body of a pregnant wife of a U.S. Marine was discovered after a search of nearly two months.

Far off in Alaska, a man alleged to have been her lover was arrested on suspicion of homicide.

Authorities on Monday outlined the discovery of 19-year-old Erin Corwin and the arrest of 24-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee, who until recently was also a Marine.

The search for Corwin ended Saturday when her body was spotted with a video camera 140 feet down a mine shaft on federal land near her home in Twentynine Palms, where her husband was stationed, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. He said deputies searched many of the 100 mine shafts in a 300 square mile area before zeroing in on right one.

The following day authorities arrested Lee, Corwin's former neighbor, in Anchorage.
read more here

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Combat Service Dog Adopted by Family of Fallen Marine

Family adopts Marine dog that was with their son when he was killed
LA Times
Tony Perry June 7, 2014

Marine dog Dino with his current handler, Sgt. Jonathan Overland, and relatives of Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz, Dino's former handler, who was killed in Afghanistan. The Diaz family will take Dino home to El Paso.
(Tony Perry/Los Angeles Times)
CAMP PENDLETON - In a brief but poignant ceremony Saturday, a bomb-sniffing dog was declared retired and officially adopted by the family of his Marine handler who was killed in Afghanistan.

Dino, 6, a Belgian malinois, was adopted by the family of Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz, who was 27 when he was killed in September 2011 while deployed in Helmand province.

Dino was with Diaz during the deployment but was uninjured.
He's not going to replace Christopher but he'll give us something that Christopher loved, the Marine Corps.
- Salvador Diaz

"I don't think that it will decrease any of the pain we feel," Diaz's father, Salvador Diaz, a former Marine, said of the adoption. "He's not going to replace Christopher but he'll give us something that Christopher loved, the Marine Corps."

Diaz's mother, Sandra, her voice cracking, said that, "It's going to be helpful - we'll have something to hold on to."
read more here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marine Lance Cpl. Cory Coumbes dies in car crash

Marine Lance Cpl. Cory Coumbes dies in car crash
The Desert Sun
Brett Kelman and Colin Atagi
April 15, 2014

Another Twentynine Palms Marine is injured in a separate crash on Highway 62.

A High Desert Marine was killed in a car crash in Twentynine Palms early Saturday. One day later, another crash in the neighboring city of Joshua Tree left a military policeman severely injured and fatally wounded his wife.

Lance Cpl. Cory Coumbes, 24, a rifleman stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, was killed in a two-car collision at the intersection of Lear Avenue and Two Mile Road about 3 a.m. Saturday. Coumbes was a passenger in a Kia Soul hit broadside by a Honda Fit that ran a stop sign, said Cindy Bachman, public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The following day, another car crash, this time along Highway 62 in Joshua Tree, left five people hospitalized, including Angela G. Matthews, 25, who died Tuesday afternoon from her injuries.

Her husband Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Matthews, a 28-year-old military policeman stationed in Twentynine Palms was wounded in the crash as was the couple's 1-year-old daughter.

One week prior to that crash, a third Marine, Cpl. Elmer VanHoorebeke Jr., died in a motorcycle collision in Joshua Tree National Park.

All three crashes occurred within three weeks of an extensive, three-day Desert Sun series on the untimely deaths of local Marines.
read more here

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Twentynine Palms Marine facing charges for murdering another Marine

Marine from Tri-State Murdered in California
Friday, March 7 2014, 11:28

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (WKRC) -- A Marine from the Tri-State is murdered and investigators in California say another Marine shot and killed him. Cpl. Steven Kohus is a 2006 graduate of Little Miami High School.

He was serving at Twenty-nine Palms with the suspect Brock Myers. Deputies were called to a home Sunday night. That's where they found Kohus, who'd been shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

They found Myers still at the home. Myers is charged with murder. He's currently in jail.

Investigators have not said if they know what led up to the murder.
read more here

Sunday, January 12, 2014

NCIS report finds young Marine was crushed by bulldozer

NCIS: Marine crushed by bulldozer as he slept in foxhole
Pfc. Casey James Holmes killed in March during training at Twentynine Palms base
Marine Corps Times
By Denise Goolsby
The Desert Sun
Jan. 10, 2014

TWENTYNINE PALMS — A Marine killed in March during a training mishap at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms was crushed by a bulldozer as he slept in a shallow, hand-dug foxhole, a report by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said.

Pfc. Casey James Holmes, a Chico native who was 20 at the time of his death, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment from Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He was at the combat center to participate in the Marine Corps’ nearly monthlong Integrated Training Exercise, known as ITX.

The Chico Enterprise-Record recently obtained the NCIS report after filing three Freedom of Information Act requests with the agency. The first two were rejected with NCIS saying the investigation was still underway and nothing could be released, staff writer Roger H. Aylworth reports.

The Enterprise-Record shared the 126-page NCIS report with The Desert Sun. The names of all of those interviewed in the course of the investigation had been redacted.
read more here

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Motorist recovering after crashing into military convoy

Motorist Crashes into Light Armored Vehicle in Military Convoy on SR 62
Banning-Beaumont Patch
Posted by Guy McCarthy (Editor)
December 17, 2013

A motorist was injured Friday when he reportedly "took his attention off the road" and struck a Light Armored Vehicle in a military convoy en route from USMC Camp Pendleton to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, a CHP officer said Tuesday.

The crash occurred just after 5 p.m. Dec. 13 on State Route 62 east of Bonair Road in Joshua Tree, Officer Joan Griffin of the Morongo Basin California Highway Patrol said in a statement.
read more here

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Marine killed in amphibious vehicle fire

Assault vehicle fire kills Marine in California
Fresno Bee
Associated Press
Published: September 18, 2013

CAMP PENDLETON, CALIF. — A Marine was killed this week during a training accident in the California desert when an amphibious assault vehicle caught fire, the Marine Corps said Wednesday.

Military officials identified the Marine as Cpl. Nicholas Sell of Eagle Point, Ore. Sell enlisted in May 2010 and was a member of the 3rd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and received several medals.
read more here

Twentynine Palms Marine died in training accident, 4 others injured