European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 19 1999, Page 5

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 19, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseSunday december 19, 1999 stars and stripes pages notification Mission includes soothing bereaved by Tony Perry los Angeles times when Charlotte Starling saw two marines and a Navy chaplain walking to the front door of her Home in South Daytona fla., she knew instantly Why they were there. They did t have to say a word Starling said. I knew it could Only be one thing her son Jeffrey was on the helicopter that crashed in san at nearly the same time two marines appeared at the Home of Jean and Walter Sebastianski in Standish Maine to talk about their son. And in Lake Elsinore calif., marines from Camp Pendleton accompanied by their wives were at the Home of Marine wife Lena Dame. In a dozen stunned and grieving Homes across the country last week marines and Navy person Nel were consoling relatives of six marines and a Navy medical corpsman killed in the crash a Day earlier of a ch-46 sea Knight helicopter during a training exer Cise 14 Miles at sea. It is a heart rending tableau that is quintessentially american this is a nation that has lost 1 Mil lion of its sons and Many of its daughters during military ser vice. Even without combat casual ties 800-plus . Military person Nel out of an Active duty Force of 1.4 million will die this year from training accidents sickness off duty traffic accidents suicide and other causes. The very sight of a military car with officers in dress uniform can spread wordless terror through an on base neighbourhood. Sometimes before you can even open your Mouth they look right at you and say is he dead " said major John Vanden Berghe an infantry officer at Camp Pendleton who has made casualty Calls. Notification is done by officers and senior noncommissioned officers who Are assigned to several months of casualty Call duty in addition to their other duties. Train ing is Brief. The first priority is that the spouse or family member learn the bad news from the military rather than another source an increasingly difficult task in an Era of worldwide cellular phone connections shipboard emails and 24-hour news operations. It can be a real fight to get to front door before word gets there said Shari Lawrence spokeswoman for the army s personnel command in Virginia. Regulations Call for notification in person of primary and secondary family members which generally Means a spouse and the nearest blood relative. Military officials know from bit Don it it Winter j 6no Dov Hill min with vote Mona instructional for the whole family Eoff h rt�ort6 Ako offer and jut for program Vinura with a u6fh the and put Tome Eui Terreni in

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