HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Funeral services were held Monday for another member of the Louisiana Army National Guard killed in a helicopter crash.
Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron, 40, of Thibodaux was honored at Woodland Park Baptist Church in Hammond.
He was among four Louisiana Guardsmen from the 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment who died when a Black Hawk crashed during a training exercise on March 10.
Bergeron enlisted into the US Marine Corps in 1998 before joining the LANG in 2001 as a Black Hawk repairer. His extensive experience as a qualified enlisted flight instructor, graduate of the aircraft crewmember standardization instructor course, aircraft maintainer course and warrior leader course made Bergeron a crew chief others aspired to be, according to members of his unit.
The combat veteran deployed to Iraq twice, in 2004-2005 and 2008-2009. Bergeron also served during state deployments for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Isaac and Operation River Guardian.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Brian Marquez, platoon sergeant, A Co., 1-244th AHB, Bergeron was one of the most qualified crew chiefs in the Guard, with more than 1,300 flight hours, including 377 combat hours.
"Lance was one of the most dedicated crew chiefs that I have ever had the pleasure of serving with during my leadership," Marquez said. "As the senior most standardization crew chief instructor in the Battalion, he was a subject matter expert in his job who exhibited an excitement of learning new skills and educating new unit members on the UH-60 aircraft, pilots and crew chiefs alike. Lance was a very family oriented father and husband, and he impacted many in the ranks. He will be greatly missed."
Bergeron is survived by his wife, two children and his parents.
Two other guardsmen, Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Griffin Jr. and Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Strother were laid to rest last week. Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Seven Marines out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina also died in the crash near Navarre, Florida. They were identified as:
Capt. Stanford H. Shaw, III, 31, from Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, 33, from Williamsburg, Virginia
Staff Sgt. Marcus S. Bawol, 26, from Warren, Michigan
Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, 29, from Lake Orion, Michigan
Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, 33, from Queens, New York
Staff Sgt. Kerry M. Kemp, 27, from Port Washington, Wisconsin
Staff Sgt. Andrew C. Seif, 26, from Holland, Michigan
The helicopter went down during a routine training mission on a remote swath of beach between Pensacola and Destin. The beach is owned by the military and is used for test missions.
The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. A Centralized Accident Investigation team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center out of Fort Rucker, Alabama was sent to Florida and is leading the joint investigation with other services.