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US Embassy to Honor Marines Killed during Nepal Quake Aid Mission

Workers clear rubble from an earthquake damaged religious site at Bhaktapur, Nepal, in May 2015. Six U.S. Marines who died during the earthquake-relief efforts be honored in a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu. (Stars and Stripes/Seth Robson)
Workers clear rubble from an earthquake damaged religious site at Bhaktapur, Nepal, in May 2015. Six U.S. Marines who died during the earthquake-relief efforts be honored in a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu. (Stars and Stripes/Seth Robson)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa -- Six U.S. Marines who died during earthquake-relief efforts in Nepal will be honored in a ceremony Friday at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu. A UH-1Y Huey helicopter carrying the Marines, two Nepalese soldiers and five villagers went down May 12 in the northeast mountains near the village of Charikot, killing all aboard. It was delivering supplies and transporting the injured to the hospital following the magnitude-7.8 temblor that killed more than 8,300 people weeks earlier. In honor of the Marines’ sacrifice, the embassy will rename the Marine Security Guard Detachment Kathmandu’s Heritage Room to Vengeance Hall after the Huey’s call sign, “Vengeance 01,” the Marine Corps said in a statement. “Each Marine will be immortalized for their contributions to the relief efforts in Nepal and their faithful service to the Marine Corps,” the statement said. “The Marine Corps will continue to honor the sacrifice of the Marines aboard ‘Vengeance 01’ by standing ready to respond with the same unwavering devotion to assisting allies and partner nations in their time of need.” The Huey crew belonged to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and had been on a training mission in the Philippines when they were diverted for the relief efforts. They included Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, 29, of Harlan, Neb.; Capt. Christopher L. Norgren, 31, of Sedgwick, Kan.; Sgt. Ward M. Johnson IV, 29, of Seminole, Fla.; and Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, 30, of Riverside, Calif. Also aboard were Cpl. Sara A. Medina, 23, Kane, Ill., and Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, 22, Maricopa, Ariz., who were with Combat Camera, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan. Brig. Gen. Tracy King, commander of 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, is scheduled to attend the ceremony, joined by U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Alaina Teplitz. Video of the ceremony will be live-streamed on the III MEF Facebook page: www.facebook.com/IIIMEF.

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