The Blackhawk Memorial Bracelet

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Made with military desert uniforms

On March 10, 2015, a U.S. Army UH-60 helicopter crashed off the coast of the Florida Panhandle during a training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, killing all eleven people on board, seven Marines and four National Guardsmen. The helicopter was reported missing during foggy conditions at 8:30 PM. The helicopter was assigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond, Louisiana.

The Black Hawk crashed in dense fog late Tuesday. Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander of Marine Corps special operations forces, has said those aboard the aircraft had tried to abort their mission when they decided it was too risky.

The Marines had been flying offshore before the crash to practice rappelling down ropes into the water and then making for land, and the same drill had been practiced in daylight, Osterman said.

The seven Marines were members of the same team, part of the Marine Special Operations Command, which totals about 2,500 troops.

Among those killed was 26-year-old Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif, who had been awarded one of the military's highest honors for heroism only days earlier. He had been commended for his efforts to save a mortally wounded friend in heavy gunfire in Afghanistan.

The other Marine victims have been identified as Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol, 27, of Warren, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp, 27, of Port Washington, Wisconsin; Capt. Stanford H. Shaw, III, 31, from Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, 33, from Williamsburg, Virginia; Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, 29, from Lake Orion, Michigan and Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, 33, from Queens, New York.

Four National Guard soldiers from Louisiana also were killed; their names had not been released as of Saturday. The National Guard soldiers, from Hammond, Louisiana, each did two tours in Iraq and joined in humanitarian missions after Gulf Coast hurricanes and the 2010 BP oil spill off Louisiana.