Keith Michael Sweaney

Fallen Hero’s Hometown and State: Richmond, VA

Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps

Rank: Lt. Col

Keith was a natural leader. People gravitated to him, and he was well respected by those he served with. He was an exemplary Marine officer and aviator who saw duty as a forward air controller with the 2nd Recon Marines in Desert Storm, as well as being a member of HMX-1, the Presidents own helicopter squadron. Most Marine Aviators consider HMX-1 the most prestigious flying unit in the Corps. His leadership skills had him slated to be the 1st Squadron Commanding officer of the brand new MV-22 Tilt Rotor aircraft. Serving as a test pilot of the MV Operations Test Evaluation Unit, Keith’s aircraft had a hydraulic failure on December 11, 2000, taking the lives
of all four crewmen. He was a loyal friend and a natural leader. Keith had been an Honorable Mention All American football player at Randolph-Macon before joining the Marine Corps. He was a devoted father and husband, and a great friend. He was a fan of John Wayne movies and his beloved Washington Redskins. Keith was very much the consummate Marine. My life is better that he was in it, but my heart breaks for his wife and family. He left behind his wife Carol, son Michael, and daughter Kristen. As a fitting legacy to his father, Michael is currently an MV-22 pilot in the Marine Corps.

Age: 42

Date of Death: December 11, 2000

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