SAN DIEGO -- The body of a 25-year-old sailor from Oceanside killed when a warship, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a merchant vessel off Japan's Izu Peninsula a couple weeks ago received an emotional homecoming Friday evening.
More than 200 members of the Patriot Guard came together at Spanish Landing united in their care for a family that is grieving. The Guard escorted the body of Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass and his family every step of the way, from Lindbergh Field to a memorial park in Sorrento Valley.
“We are a tight-knit family and we take care of each other. It’s the least that we can do to honor this man and his family,” said volunteer Mike Cash. “It makes me very proud to be an American. It also shows me that most people support us and support our military.”
It’s the second time the Guard has made the journey this week. The first was Wednesday night for Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Sibayan.
The two men were among seven sailors killed in the mid-June collision. In the days following the accident, stories have come to light about the efforts made to rescue the victims, who were sleeping in compartments that flooded.
“We know now why Shingo was proud to serve with you,” said the Douglass family in a statement.
Both funerals are scheduled for next week.