On January 14, 2016, 12 Marines lost their lives after two CH-53E crashed off the coast of Oahu. The Wingman Foundation, in coordination with several other non-profits launched into action to care for the families these Marines left behind. TWF provided flights and lodging for the families and worked to financially help those that were already en route before we could help.
The Wingman Foundation's commitment to their sacrifice did not end there. In the weeks and months that followed, TWF worked with the Pegasus squadron leadership to provide memorial shirts and bracelets to the family members, provided funds for an on-base memorial at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay) and helped with the moving expenses for families returning to the mainland. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, TWF was also able to assist Marines from Hawaii attend funerals and memorial services in the hometowns of those that were lost.
Michael Rogers, the Head of Programs, noted, "This mishap hit home for everyone involved with Navy and Marine Corps aviation. We really tried to ensure that the families were covered in every way, especially in the months that followed. Our continued commitment to these Marines and their families is the hallmark or our mission statement, that we will 'Never leave a Wingman behind.' It has been our honor to be able to help these families."
This past January, the squadron, families, and friends of those lost were able to remember the Marines that were lost. Memorial bricks were dedicated on base and events were held throughout the weekend to commemorate the one year anniversary.
For those interested in providing The Wingman Foundation with continued financial support which will allow TWF to continue to support families like those affected by this mishap, please consider donating using the link above.