12 Marines included a surfer, an aspiring nurse and a new dad - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

12 Marines included a surfer, an aspiring nurse and a new dad

Community members gather for candlelight vigil to honor 12 missing Marines. Community members gather for candlelight vigil to honor 12 missing Marines.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The 12 Marines who were on board two helicopters when they collided Thursday night off Oahu ranged in aged from 21 to 41. Several had children; two were newlyweds.

Here are their profiles:

  • Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas

Maj. Shawn Campbell was a career Marine, who had been transferred to the islands two years ago.

The Houston native, a graduate of Texas A&M University, had a wife and four children in the islands.

Campbell's mother, Donna McGrew, called her son an "amazing father and husband" who loved being a Marine. He had been deployed to Iraq three times, and returned to the United States to be a military flying instructor. 

"These families have known sacrifice and now we are getting to the point where it might be the ultimate sacrifice," McGrew told Hawaii News Now.

"If he did (lose his life), he did so with a heart of love toward his country and toward his men. He took great pride in the Marine Corps and in the privilege of serving. He loved to fly."

  • Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Capt. Brian T. Kennedy's father said while his son grew up in suburban Philadelphia, he had been on assignment since graduating from the Naval Academy.

Earliers this week, his father, William Kennedy, told CBS News that the family remained hopeful.

  • Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri

The family of Capt. Kevin Roche has thanked those who have worked to find the missing Marines. 

“Our family appreciates the prayers and encouragement we have received as we watch, wait and pray for Kevin’s safe return,” the family said, in a statement, while the search was ongoing. "We believe the Marines and Coast Guard are doing everything they can to bring Kevin and his fellow Marines home safely."

The family added, Roche “is a passionate Marine who loves his family and his country – and we love him.”

  • Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama

Capt. Steven Torbert had a wife, Kirsten, and a baby.

The University of North Alabama identified his sister, Chelsea, as a police officer. 

  • Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama

Sgt. William Turner's family says the 25-year-old enlisted right out of high school to better himself and to serve his country. 

Turner's cousin, Michelle O'Neal, said Turner "was a good old country boy. Well-respected. A perfect gentleman. He was a jewel."

  • Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania

In a statement, Sgt. Adam Schoeller's family said they "value all of the thoughts and prayers offered up on our behalf during this very difficult time."

Relatives told CBS News that Schoeller and his wife, Samantha Wickel-Schoeller, were married in July. His Facebook page said he was a member of the 2008 graduating class from Boiling Springs High School.

His parents and other family members have traveled to Hawaii. In Schoeller's hometown, meanwhile, residents have held prayer services for the missing Marine.

  • Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24, Chaska, Minnesota

Sgt. Dillon Semolina's family says the 24-year-old was a helicopter crew chief, and wanted to be a registered nurse when he left the Marines.

"He was waiting to hear from a school he had applied to and was hoping to hear next week," his uncle, Ryan Bachand, told CBS News. Semolina played football in high school, and enjoyed fishing.

Semolina's Facebook page says he's engaged.

  • Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas

Cpl. Matthew Drown graduated from high school in 2011 and enlisted in the Marines.

In a statement, Drown's family said, "Our family would like everyone to know this is not about us. It is about all the sacrifices military members and families make on a daily basis."

  • Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts

Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando's family said they are thankful for the support, love and prayers from friends and strangers during this tough time.

Orlando was a flight crew chief and a 2010 high school graduate from Hingham, which is outside Boston.

Before Orlando joined the Marines, he was a counselor at a surf camp in Massachusetts, CBS News reported. In a Facebook post, South Shore Surf Camp called him a "camp legend."

  • Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida

Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas is the younger brother of Haely Jardas, who represented Washington, D.C. in last year's Miss America pageant.

"My little brother was lost doing what he loved," Haely Jardas said, in a Facebook post. "He has always been and will always be my most important person."

Ryan Mitnick, a close friend, called Jardas an "outstanding Marine" and a level-headed person.

"Tommy was the kind of guy everybody loved," Mitnick told the News Press newspaper. "You could not ask for a better friend."

According to Jardas' Facebook page, he jointed the Marines in 2011, and came to Hawaii in 2013.

A friend said when he heard Jardas was in the crash, he was left breathless.

Jardas would "walk into a room and everyone would get a smile," said friend Dennis Horn. 

  • Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina

On Monday, a prayer service was held for Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler in his hometown of Woodruff.

His grandfather addressed the crowd outside city hall: "I want everybody in the world to know what a great kid he was," said Ralph Beauvier, according to WYFF.

Sempler's alma mater, Woodruff High, said in a statement that Sempler had a "quiet and thoughtful personality."

"He was a young man who thought of others before thinking of himself," the school said.

Sempler's mother, Laurie Allen, told KOAA that her son was a quiet but imposing figure, at 6-foot-3. "He's my first born," she said. "He's always been there for me."

  • Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon

According to a family spokesperson, Lance Cpl. Ty Hart got married six months ago.

The principal at his high school in Oregon, Alan Kirby, said Hart always had a smile on his face. 

"He was definitely well liked. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like Ty. Just a really friendly person who always seemed to be doing the right things," Kirby said.

Mobile users: See a slideshow of the 12 missing Marines by clicking here

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