HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A long procession of service members from several branches formed to honor the service and sacrifice of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Sean Carson.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician was laid to rest with full military honors at 8:30 a.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Tuesday.
Carson was among seven American service members killed Aug 16th, when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a firefight in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan.
Carson, a bronze star and purple heart recipient, was conducting combat operations alongside two Navy Seals, Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, Michigan and Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, of Edgewater, Maryland; four Hawaii based Army aviators, Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, of Melbourne, Fla., Chief Warrant Officer Suresh N. A. Krause, 29, of Cathedral City, Calif., Sgt. Richard A. Essex, 23, of Kelseyville, Calif., Sgt. Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, all assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, at Schofield Barracks. Four other Afghan nationals died in the crash.
Carson's wife, Nicole, and four-year-old daughter Leila received a salute from members of the explosive ordinance community as they walked thru the procession. Veterans groups held large flags during the memorial service neaby.
The 32-year-old sailor's parents and in-laws both attended, along with members of his San Diego based command, EOD mobile unit 3.
Vice-Admiral Gerald Beaman of the U.S. 3rd Fleet in San Diego was joined by Rear Admiral Michael Tillotson, Commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia.
Carson grew to love Hawaii and hoped to relocate here one day, according to his wife. Instead, the 13 year Navy veteran joins the fallen heroes of a grateful nation who've fought to keep our country safe, 11 years after the worst terror attacks in U.S. history.
"The family seemed very resolute in that Mr Carson's sacrifice was not in vain," said Gene Castagnetti, director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl who officiated at memorial service.
Several flags and momentos were also presented to members of Carson's family before guests made their way to the columbarium for his interrment at Court 9, Wall GG.
A worker said the family gathered close and said a prayer before the Petty Officer Carson's ashes were set into a small niche on the wall. According to Castagnetti, EOD1 Carson is the only Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran who will be laid to rest at Punchbowl Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
"Even though we're burying an American hero in Sean Carson, he is representative of all the things that are good for America," reflected Castagnetti.
A reminder of the sacrifice so many servicemembers continue to make in America's longest war that was a result of the 9/11 attacks.