Local resident organizes fundraiser for fallen troops

Frank Parisi with members of Marine Special Operations Team 8231.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Parisi

A local resident will hold a fundraiser to raise money for families of fallen troops.

Frank Parisi, a Locust Point resident of over 30 years, along with his cousin Kevin Devine, recently started a fundraising website page and are currently planning on holding a fundraiser event in attempts to raise money for families of Marine Corps special operations members who were killed while serving in the line of duty.

The upcoming event will consists of an Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon which will take place on Sunday, July 24, 2016.

The triathlon race will consist of a 112-mile bike ride, a 26.2-mile run and a 2.4-mile swim.

Those who participate in the fundraiser will be racing in support of the MARSOC Foundation, an organization that was established to provide benevolent support to active duty and medically retired marines of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command as well as families who have lost their loved ones in service while fighting to protect our nation.

Specifically, the triathlon is being held to honor the men of Marine Special Operations Team 8231 who sacrificed their lives on July 24, 2012 and March 10, 2015.

On the night of March 10, MSOT 8231, which consisted of captain Stanford H. Shaw II, master sergeant Thomas A. Saunders and staff sergeants Andrew C. Seif, Liam A. Flynn, Marcus Bawol, Trevor P. Blaylock and Kerry M. Kemp (known as the Raider 7), lost their lives while on a training mission off the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter that they were traveling in crashed just off of the coast, while the elite U.S. marines were training for their next deployment.

The triathlon is also being held to honor sergeant Justin Hansen, who was killed in Afghanistan during a raid to prosecute a high value target in 2012. Hansen was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions.

“Their courage, passion, skill and pure love for life will never be forgotten,” said Parisi, who served with Marine Special Operations Team 8231 between 2012 and 2014 had the pleasure of being with the late Seif after Seif had been awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Afghanistan in 2012.

“Serving on (Marine Special Operations Team 8231) with these men was the highest privilege of my career – it was a great honor to know these men and a greater honor to call them friends, teammates and brothers,” he said.

“These men were dear friends of mine and countless others – and it is only fitting that this summer’s (triathlon) is on July 24, so Justin and the Raider 7 can watch over us,” Frank added.

“It’s important that people donate towards a worthwhile cause like this one,” said Frank’s father Jimmy. “These incidents that took place were terrible tragedies – and hopefully no family has to ever go through what these families have gone through after losing these great heroes.”

So far, nearly $4,000 has been donated to the cause on CrowdRise, all of which will be allocated to the MARSOC Foundation, which will go directly to families of the victims.

To make a donation, go to www.crowdrise.com/an-ironman-for-iron-men/fundraiser/frankparisi1

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.
Frank Parisi, when he was a member of Marine Special Operations Team 8231.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Parisi

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