It has been confirmed that the USMC UH-1 transporting relief materiel and personnel in Nepal was lost. It will not be flying out. The onboard personnel will not be greeting their families at home.
For some reason, this loss is more difficult for me to process. Military personnel die regularly in training, in combat, and in quite a number of other circumstances. It’s not as if we don’t face death we don’t understand quite often.
There is something particularly poignant about these Marines being lost while conducting operations which Americans do with some regularity. Not at this altitude or exactly in this manner. But, coming to the aid of people around the world who are negatively impacted by a disaster is what we do.
That these Marines died while displaying the best of America results in a strange sense of pride in them and in us. Perhaps some day that knowledge will soften the grief we feel now. Not today. Today the grief is still raw.