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Daily Journal
     November 16, 2020      #62-321 KDJ

Watseka soldier among U.S. soldiers killed in

Daily Journal staff report

WASHINGTON — Army Sgt. Jeremy C. Sherman, 23, from Watseka, was one of five American soldiers killed in a helicopter crash while on a peacekeeping mission in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

The Army identified the other four victims 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; and Staff Sgt. Kyle Robert McKee, 35, from Painesville, Ohio.

A sixth American soldier was badly injured.

Sgt. Jeremy C. Sherman, 23, was a UH-60 crew chief assigned to Aviation Company, Task Force Sinai. Originally from Wateska, Illinois, he enlisted in 2015 and arrived in Egypt in October 2020. His previous overseas assignments include tours in Korea and Afghanistan.

Sherman’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.

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 Thursday near Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Egyptian resort on the Red Sea.

“It is with profound sadness that we mourn this tragic loss of life,” said Col. David S. Sentell, commander of Task Force Sinai. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and loved ones of our fallen during this most difficult time. They should know that their nation will continue to honor their sacrifice.”

A French peacekeeper and Czech officer also were killed, and a sixth American on the helicopter was injured.

The Army said the cause of the crash is still under investigation. On the day of the crash, the MFO said at that point there were no signs of an attack and it appeared to have been an accident.

Thirteen countries contribute troops to the peacekeeping force, with the United States making up the largest contingent. The responsibilities include monitoring troop levels along the border and ensuring the freedom of navigation through the Strait of Tiran.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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