As I’m sure you have heard, we lost five American soldiers in a helicopter crash while on a peacekeeping mission in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The Army identified the them as Capt. Seth Vernon Vandekamp, 31, from Katy, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dallas Gearld Garza, 34, from Fayetteville, North Carolina; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marwan Sameh Ghabour, 27, from Marlborough, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. Kyle Robert McKee, 35, from Painesville, Ohio; and Sgt. Jeremy Cain Sherman, 23, from Watseka, Illinois.
Marwan Ghabour was a longtime PatchOps friend and custom patch customer, I spoke to him several times from Egypt.
The McKee family is local to us.
The soldiers were part of an international force that monitors the four-decade-old Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement. The Multinational Force and Observers said the soldiers were on a routine mission when the Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Egyptian resort on the Red Sea.
Peace keeping and training casualties hurt us more. Actually being connected to 2 of the five we lost hurts even more- It’s hard for me to even type this all out.
From Kyle’s dad: Kyle built a bar in Egypt called the landing zone and set about to make it as his and his company’s own space. It is a multi national force so it included military from many different countries. He had seen a poster titled I believe the endless summer and adapted that to make it include his own ideas. He painted the “endless summer” design down the side of a Conex visible as you walk up to the bar. He had been working on it from shortly after he arrived in July. He cut apart a Huey helicopter from the scrap yard there and that was the backdrop to the bar. The skids off the same aircraft were placed at the entrance.
I’m a strong believer that we effect the world when we start in our community. Through our Ops Chiefs’ wife Erin, we contacted the McKee family and asked if we could try to raise some money for Kyle’s wife and kids, and it is with his permission we share this story- and are offering decals and patches as a tribute to Kyle’s design, we will donate 100% of every sale of these to them.
The patches are a PREORDER and will be completed in December, but you can order the decals now- we ship daily. Please consider ordering both, and let’s keep this hero’s legacy visible everywhere.
Semper Fidelis, we will never forget the sacrifices of these young men.
FUNDRAISER: SSG Kyle McKee tribute vinyl decal