The father of one of the Camp Pendleton Marines killed in a military helicopter collision near Yuma Wednesday night has identified him to the Fresno Bee as 33-year-old Sgt. Justin Avery Everett.
James Everett told the Fresno Bee his son was married to Holly Everett and had two young children, ages 5 and 2 (pictured at left). The Everetts' 11th wedding anniversary was last Friday.
Everett grew up in Fresno. After graduating from Reedley High School, he became a church youth group leader, according to his father:
Everett had been a Marine for ten years, and had been deployed to Iraq twice. James Everett said his son was preparing for a July deployment to Afghanistan.
Everett, a helicopter pilot and crew chief, was one of six Camp Pendleton Marines with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing who were killed Wednesday night during a training exercise near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Two helicopters, an AH-1W Cobra and UH-1 Huey, collided over a training site near the Chocolate Mountains in eastern California. A seventh Marine killed in the accident was based at MCAS Yuma.
Everett's parents also spoke with Fresno television station KGPE-TV: