JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As the community continues to heal following the crash that killed four Marines in Norway, memorials are popping up on and off bases around Eastern North Carolina.
9OYS got to speak with some Marines that knew the fallen personally and visit the memorials. Four pairs of boots, four American flags, four Marine Corps flags and countless flowers are what you’ll see on New River honoring the Marines.
“His passion flying is fine up high now, he’s doing what he loves. And he got his deployment that’s what he wanted,” said Cpt. Bryton Seyfert.
All of the Marines we spoke with are part of the VMM 261 Squadron, the same squadron the fallen were a part of. They share their memories and reflect on their brothers.
Seyfert remembers Cpt. Ross Reynolds as a very good friend.
“His wife wanted me to extend verbally to everyone that she is very thankful for all the support coming her way and that she wants everyone to know that he is still doing what he loves,” said Seyfert.
He also shared the following quote from Lana Reynolds, Reynolds’ wife.
“My incredible Ross gained his second set of wings in heaven and now he will be with me until we are reunited. He’s up there flying with the guys, I just can’t see or hear him. I am so incredibly proud of him. Always have been and forever will be. He truly did embody Marine Corps motto ‘Semper Fidelis.’ He was dedicated and faithful to me, his family, his friends, and in blood to the Corps. He will forever be my husband and best friend. Thank you to the squadron and the MV-22 community. We are family always, connected by my amazing ALF. From both of us, we love and support you all.”Lana Reynolds, Wife of Capt. Ross Reynolds
Cpl. Jose Pazovalle said GySgt James Speedy was like a father to him.
“Regardless of how long he knew you, you just always had the best interest at heart and wanted you to succeed in whatever it is that you did,” said Pazovalle.
And Cpt. Matthew Tomkiewicz is remembered for making the squadron a better place.
“He was a really good friend to everyone at the squadron. He was professional in everything he did as well and he was a very intelligent man,” said Cpt. Anthony Bernstein.
Cpl. Max Dwyer and Cpl. Samuel Jones both say that Cpl. Jacob Moore was a good man and it was an honor to work with him.
“It takes a lot you volunteer to serve. And I know Cpl. Moore was very proud to be a Marine. We’re all proud to call him our brother,” said Jones.
And all in all, they share one last message.
“Tell your buddies you love them more often because might not always get that chance,” said Dwyer.