Fallen Marines, Navy corpsman honored
October 10, 2007 - 10:18AM

Plaques bearing the names of the three Yuma-based Marines and a sailor who lost their lives in a crash of a search and resuce helicopter were placed on the wall of the Armed Forces Park Wednesday morning.

Maj. Cesar Y. Freitas, 35, the helicopter pilot; Capt. Bradley E. Walters, 33, also a pilot; Sgt. Charles L. Osgood, 27, a seearch and rescue crew chief; and Petty Officer 2nd Class Brendon W. Sandburg, 25, Branch Medical Clinic Navy hospital corpsman, died on Aug. 16 when the helicopter they were flying went down while returning from a routine training flight near the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground.

Brendon's wife, Johnna Sandburg, said the ceremony was a touching and meaningful tribute to her late husband's service to the country.

"It's like he is not being forgotten," she said. "I don't want it to be like its just a another military member who died. It's much deeper then that."

All four men were stationed at Marine Corp Air Station Yuma and the helicopter was one of four assigned to the base.

Lance Cpl. Brian D. Stahlhut was the only survivor of the crash.

Each time a soldier, Marine, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard member with Yuma ties is killed while on active duty, a plaque is mounted at the park by members of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee.

The plaques honoring Freitas, Osgood, Walters and Sandburg were paid for by an anonymous donor.