— -- The steady, pouring rain was fitting for the occasion. It was a military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif, killed in a training accident one month ago.
Exactly one week after being awarded the Navy’s third-highest award for valor, the Silver Star, Seif's helicopter went down in heavy fog off the coast of Florida, killing all on board. Among the dead were some of the most highly trained Marines and Army pilots: 11 men from Marine Special Operations Command, knowns as MARSOC, and two pilots and two crewmembers from the Louisiana National Guard.
It’s a stark reminder that the risks associated with military service aren't always on the battlefield.
The wives of the men killed have traveled together to each funeral service, offering support for one another.
In 2013 Seif was awarded the USO’s Marine of the Year. He was honored for his heroic actions during a July 2012 mission in Afghanistan, where he lost his close friend Sgt. Justin Hansen.
By his side for every award ceremony and by his side again Monday was his wife Dawn, who is pregnant with their first child.