WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Matt Determan's family had been holding on to hope that he'd pull through. But the trauma the infantry man's body endured when an MV-22 Osprey crashed during a training exercise Sunday was just too much.
"Last night when we got the news that he passed away, there's no words that can be put on that emotion. It's just kind of a shock almost,"said Bill Dolan.
A Marine Corps spokesman said Determan died from injuries sustained in the Osprey crash. The Ahwatukee, Ariz. man was 21 years old.
Bill Dolan grew up with Determan. The two are cousins and spent summer's together on Determan's grandparents farm. "It almost became tradition," said Dolan. Determan is the youngest of three.
Dolan says he was always there for the people who mattered most in his life. "Matt was a real family oriented guy. Super protective of his family his mother his father his siblings of course," said Dolan.
Determan was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. He arrived in Hawaii on May 10 for a seven-month deployment and was participating in training exercises with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit when the crash happened.
In his final Facebook post Determan wrote: "See you on the flip side America. Nothing but love goes out to all my friends and family. Til I see you all again be safe and keep my brothers of the 3/1 in your prayers."
"Lance Cpl. Determan represents the best America has to offer," said Col. Vance Cryer, commanding officer of the 15th MEU. "Our country and are Corps are poorer for his loss, but his example will continue to inspire us."
Although his loss is tragic, Dolan said he believes Determan was meant to be a Marine. "I feel like looking back on him his personality that it was the best thing for him and the path God wanted him to go down," said Dolan.
Two additional marines remain hospitalized.