BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Navy is now reporting the bodies of all of the ten missing sailors aboard the U.S.S. John McCain have been recovered.
Two of the sailors were from Maryland. Family members have been working to keep hope alive following the collision in the waters off the Pacific early last week.
George Solis spoke with the Gaithersburg father of the one those sailors who is heartbroken by the loss.
Thomas Bushell, the dad of Electronics Technician 2nd class, Kevin Bushell, seemed to have made peace early on that his son may not have survived the crash. But, there was no masking how much he hoped his phone would ring with news that his son Kevin would be coming home.
“He had nothing left to prove to anybody, and that doesn’t mean it was right for him to leave us like this, but he had nothing left to prove,” said Thomas Bushell.
With a childhood photo of his son Kevin in hand, Thomas Bushell struggles, much like any parent would, with coming to terms with the awful reality that his son is gone.
“Just the best son you could have asked for.”
Sunday, the Navy announced Kevin, along with nine missing sailors aboard the USS John McCain had been recovered.
Also among the missing, Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr. from also from Maryland.
His father tells WJZ, he struggled to keep hope alive as the hours and days passed following the McCain’s collision with an oil tanker near Singapore last week.
The crash follows a string of other incidents at sea in Asia that led to the removal of the fleet’s commander just weeks before his retirement.
The Navy has also ordered an “operational pause” for its fleets worldwide as the collisions are investigated.
“One tragedy like this is one too many and while each of these four events is unique, they cannot be viewed in isolation,” said Adm. Scott Swift, head of the Pacific Fleet.
In spite of his loss, Bushell doesn’t want to his son’s death to be vain.
“My prayers go out to all the families. Obviously, I know how they feel.”
It’s a small sense of comfort knowing the little boy that passed away with nothing to left to prove, will go on being remembered as a hero for making an ultimate sacrifice.
“For being out there protecting our freedom. Thank you to all the men and women in the services.”
The Navy is looking at all possible reasons for the collision, including that ship’s controls may have been hacked.
The sailor’s ages ranged from 20 to 39 years old.