Flags to fly at half staff to honor St. Louis Marine killed in crash

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Marine Capt. Kevin Roche. (SOURCE: Family of Kevin Roche)

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Flags will be at half staff for a St. Louis Marine killed in a Hawaiian helicopter crash.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has ordered flags be flown at half staff this coming Saturday in honor Of Marine Captain Kevin Roche of St. Louis. He was among several marines killed last month in a helicopter crash near their base in Hawaii.

A memorial mass celebrating the life of Captain Roche will be held Saturday at St. Ambrose Catholic church in south St. Louis. The mass will start at 10:30.

Statement from Captain Kevin Roche’s family:

Captain Kevin Roche, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, was a Marine Corps pilot who flew CH-53 helicopters for the 463rd Squadron, also known as the “Pegasus” Squadron. On January 14, 2016, in Oahu, Hawaii, during a training mission involving two CH-53 helicopters, four pilots and eight additional servicemembers, Kevin and eleven other Marine brothers of his were killed.
Kevin leaves behind his parents Steve and Cathy as well as his intended fiance Kathryn, his sister Karen, brothers Brian and Sean, Aunt Pearl, his nephew August, as well as dear extended family and friends. Kevin was 30 years old.

Kevin was a passionate Marine who loved his family and his country. Kevin served in Operation Enduring Freedom and received the following commendations during his career as a Marine: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. His sacrifice in serving this country will never be forgotten by the Roche family, nor by his friends, nor anyone who knew him.
At every turn, folks both known and unknown to the Roche family have expressed the impact that Kevin had on their lives in a positive way. Not only did Kevin excel at being an outstanding American citizen, patriot, pilot and leader, he also excelled at being a consummate brother, friend, role-model and humanitarian to those in his life. These stories are not in short supply, and are still coming to the Roche family as folks reach out to us. We are very grateful to hear about each and every one of your experiences with Kevin. We are so thankful to all those who have reached out to us with prayers and support during this time of grief, and we are so proud that Kevin has been able to be a light in your lives as he was in ours. We hope that in the coming years, you continue to feel the warmth and brightness of that undying light he has left behind.

Kevin paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Our sacrifice in losing Kevin is deep, personal, and heartbreaking. But we also know that he did what he loved to do, was good to people around him, and served and died for a cause greater than himself. And in our freedom as Americans to speak and worship freely, which he defended, we say with much sorrow but also hope in the Lord: thank you for your service, Captain Kevin Roche. We will always love you, we will always miss you. We thank God for you, and we will see you in heaven. Your spirit is always with us.

Love,

The Roche family