A Navy officer who made heroic actions overseas, has died on home soil.
LCDR. Mark Walton of the Naval Special Warfare Command has confirmed Cmdr. Seth Stone, 41, of Houston Texas, died Sept. 30, while on leave and skydiving in Perris, CA.
The Federal Aviation Administration says Cmdr. Seth Stone's parachute failed to open properly after he jumped from a hot air balloon.
According to a Navy statement, Stone was a highly decorated combat veteran with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received a second Silver Star for selfless acts that could have claimed his life during the 2006 Battle of Ramadi.
The statement said they were outnumbered, but he directed reinforcements while simultaneously providing cover fire and dragging a critically wounded comrade to safety.
“As a Navy SEAL Cmdr. Stone epitomized the warrior ethos, risking his life on many occasions in combating our nations’ enemies,” Navy officials said. “He saved countless U.S. service members, and helped bring stability to embattled regions of the world.
“Outside of the military, he was liked by everyone fortunate enough to cross his path. He made great friendships and found solace in pursuing his passion for surfing and other adventurous activities.”
His awards and decorations include the Silver Star with Gold Star (Gold Star denotes the second award), Bronze Star with Valor device, Army Commendation Medal with Valor device, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Rear Admiral Szymanski, who is the leader of the Navy SEALs spoke highly of the elite warrior.
"The Naval Special Warfare community is deeply saddened and mourns the tragic loss of one of our best,” Szymanski said. “Seth's absence will be sorely felt across the staff, command and the entire special operations community. NSW is a close-knit family and our primary focus is to provide care and support for Cmdr. Stone's family."
His decorations are as follows:
Silver Star Medal (2)
Bronze Star with Combat “V” Device
Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Army Commendation Medal with “Valor” Device
Meritorious Unit Commendation
He was assigned to Special Operations Command Pacific.