Capt Seth R. Michaud, USMC, 27, Jacksonville, NC (Djibouti)
Arlington National Cemetery
Seth R. Michaud
Captain, United States Marine Corps
From contemporary press reports:
Friends and family mourn Hudson Marine
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Marine Captain Seth Michaud, who was killed last month by friendly fire in Africa, was remembered in his hometown yesterday as a doting husband and father, a gifted student and pilot and a generous man.
Michaud, a 27-year-old helicopter commander, died in a military exercise in Djibouti when a B-52 dropped nine M117, general-purpose bombs during a practice mission. The bombs hit near troops and two Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters parked adjacent to the bombing range, officials said. His was the only death in the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, which had begun training in counter-terrorism in Africa in November.
Nearly 200 friends and family filled St. Michael Church on Manning Street last night to pay their respects to Michaud's family: his parents, Karen and Francis Michaud; his siblings Ethan and Samantha; and his wife, Karen Marie, and their 18-month-old son, Ian.
Michaud's photograph in his Marine uniform, as well as his boots, jumpsuit and hat were on display as reminders of his life in service to his country. Michaud was buried earlier this month at Arlington National Cemetery.
Francis Michaud's fond memories of his eldest son began well before he joined the U.S. Marines or studied at the U.S. Naval Academy.
"I remember Seth as a boy. The books we read, the awesome spaceships we made with Legos," the soccer games and campfires on the lake, he said.
Besides being a standout student, Michaud was an avid athlete, Francis said. He was captain of the high school varsity soccer team his senior year, a member of the ski club, a wrestler his sophomore year, and a member of the track team. He was also an Eagle Scout who loved the outdoors.
"You were a wonderful role model to Ethan and Samantha," Francis said. The brothers went from fighting to becoming best friends in high school and Samantha chose a college in Virginia to be closer to her brother, Francis said.
When Michaud graduated from Hudson High School in 1994, he went to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., from where he graduated in 1998. Matt Burke, one of Michaud's best childhood friends, described him as "one of the most upstanding kids you'd ever meet."
Michaud was never the same after a friend introduced he and his future wife Karen on the ski slopes of Colorado when the two were in college.
The two were married in 1999 and when Ian was born, Michaud made his whole life his family, whether playing with Ian or making sure to set aside "cuddle time" with his wife at their home near Marine base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.
"You were a dedicated officer, a strong pilot and a proud Marine," Francis Michaud said.
Seth adopted the role of father quickly, though his own father at first wondered how he would have time for parenthood.
"You were so proud to be a daddy. All of the phone calls and stories were about Ian, there were even more of those than about flying."
Francis remembered how his son had regretfully said goodbye to his wife and his son when he left for Africa in April, expecting he might not see them for a year.
"As a young man you were full of integrity, a person who made a difference in our world," Francis said. "You are my hero and I know you are with us today with that grin."
Michaud was a gift from God who taken from this earth earlier than anyone could have expected, the Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc said in his homily.
LeBlanc urged friends to not only pray for Michaud but also for his family, who will have to spend every gathering, every anniversary or holiday or birthday, without him.
"A question that has been on all our minds, 'Why?'
"We don't know," LeBlanc said. "We've been cheated of a life that brought love and hope and life."
The grief that follows such a loss "can leave us numbed, shocked, touched with the deepest emotion, like someone has torn out our hearts."
But there is hope.
"Our faith...enables us to hope. Although we have questions, doubts, anger, it enables us to continue the journey. We are a people of hope and promise," LeBlanc said.
"(Faith) was as much a part of Seth's life as his skin," LeBlanc said. "The love of God, the love of country, were the foundations of his life."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Captain Seth Michaud, a Marine helicopter pilot from Hudson, Massachusetts, who was killed in a "friendly fire" incident while on duty in Africa last month, was scheduled to be buried in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery this morning.
Michaud, 27, was to be remembered with full military honors in the ceremony in Virginia attended by his wife, Karen Marie, their 18-month-old son, Ian, as well as parents Francis and Karen and his siblings Ethan and Samantha. A local memorial service will be held at St. Michael Church in Hudson on July 11. Also, a memorial fund in honor of Captain Michaud has been established for his son.
Michaud was a 1994 graduate of Hudson High School where he was known as a dedicated student and athlete before attending the U.S. Naval Academy. He was killed in the nation of Djibouti on June 22 during a practice mission with his Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, which had begun training in Africa in November. Michaud was on the ground when bombs dropped from a B-52 hit near troops and two Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters parked adjacent the bombing range.
The ceremony was to be held at 8:45, with Michaud's casket covered in an American flag and led on one of the cemetery's three caissons, a horse-drawn hearse built in 1918. The burial ceremony called for Michaud's casket to be accompanied by seven horses and a six-person casket team, as well as an escort platoon, a bugler and a military band. A seven-member firing party was scheduled to fire three volleys in his honor. Michaud's burial was one of 28 burials at the cemetery today.
The memorial fund to benefit young Ian R. Michaud was set up at the Hudson Savings Bank. Donations may be made to: Capt. Seth Michaud Memorial Fund, c/o Hudson Savings Bank, 42 Main St., Hudson, MA 01749, Attn: Claudette.
A memorial Mass will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 11 at St. Michael Church, with a reception afterwards in the parish center.
MICHAUD, SETH ROBERT
CAPT US MARINE CORPS
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 01/01/1998 - 06/22/2003
DATE OF BIRTH: 01/02/1976
DATE OF DEATH: 06/22/2003
DATE OF INTERMENT: 07/01/2003
BURIED AT: SECTION 66 SITE 6384
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