Flags at half-staff statewide, hundreds mourn the loss of Tacoma Marine
TACOMA , Wash. – Hundreds gathered in Tacoma to mourn the loss of Cpll Collin Schaaff on Sunday.
“My heart will always have a missing part,” Collin’s mother Angel said to a crowd of close to 200 people.
Schaaff, 22, was one of 16 servicemen killed July 10 when a military cargo plane tragically crashed in rural Mississippi.
The plane was on route to Yuma, Arizona, for pre-deployment training.
“It knocked the wind out of me. It was just really, really unexpected,” Schaaff’s uncle Paul Schmitt said upon hearing of his nephew’s sudden death.
Schaaff’s remains returned to Washington and were buried in Tahoma National Cemetery early Sunday.
The Marine Corps sent more than 100 Marines to the service. One family member told KOMO News American Airlines provided two complimentary planes for travel.
On Sunday afternoon, friends and families crowded into Franklin Pierce High School, Schaaff’s alma mater, telling stories and remembering the fallen Marine.
The July 10 crash is still under investigation. Meanwhile, as first reported by Defense News, the Marine Corps has grounded the entire fleet of KC-130T cargo planes, the type of plane that crashed on July 10.
Cpl. Collin Schaaff graduated from Franklin Pierce High School in 2013. He leaves behind his pregnant wife, Sarah Beth Schaaff ,and daughter, Willow.
A second Marine from Washington was killed in the July 10 plane crash.
A memorial service for Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman, who grew up in Richland, will be held in Richland on Aug. 12.