U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 crash victims remembered as patriotic, religious

The 15 Marines and a Navy sailor killed in a military plane crash Monday in Mississippi came from all over the country. Six of the Marines and the sailor were from an elite Marine Raider battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Nine were based out of Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, home of a Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron.

Here are brief portraits of some of the victims: William Joseph Kundrat

Staff Sgt. William Joseph Kundrat, 33, grew up in Frederick, Maryland, where the Marine’s parents, Joseph and Lynda, still live.

His mother confirmed her son’s death in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Frederick News-Post.

“Every breath of air you take, all the things you’re able to do, you can do those things because of people like my son,” she told the newspaper. “I’ll never forget that.” Play Video 16 killed in deadliest Marine plane crash in over a decade Kundrat graduated in 2002 from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, where he played football and lacrosse. He also was an Eagle Scout.

After graduation, he joined the Marines. In 2004, Kundrat married classmate Ashley Cregger, according to the paper. It said they lived in Holly Ridge, North Carolina, and had two children together.

Kundrat served in Iraq, his mother said, later joining the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command 2nd Marine Raider battalion stationed at Camp Lejeune. Said his mother: “He was a great Marine.” Brendan Johnson

Gunnery Sgt. Brendan Johnson, 46, told his father he had the best job in the Marine Corps.

Kevin Johnson of Colchester, Vermont, recalled his son said, “I get to fly everywhere.” His son was based at Stewart, traveling back and forth across the Atlantic and Pacific and touring many countries.

Brendan Johnson joined the Marines after graduating from Johnson State College in Vermont. A fine arts major, Johnson once surprised the family with portraits he painted based on old pictures of his grandfather and father-in-law when they graduated from Navy boot camp.

The elder Johnson said his son, who was taking on more administrative work, was looking to retire next year.

“He said it was time to move on and let some of the younger kids take over,” Johnson told CBS Burlington affiliate WCAX-TV.

Plans included possibly returning to school for a master’s degree and then moving from Newburgh, New York, to Montana, home to his wife Anna. He said Brendan loved the outdoors and was considering a job as a park ranger or a fish and game warden.”He was thinking of looking into that, but he said, ‘You know, I’ve got some time,'” Johnson said. “We’ll miss him.” Julian Kevianne Sgt. Julian Kevianne, 31, joined the Marines in 2009 because he wanted to protect and defend the country, his brother told the Detroit Free Press.”The Marines knocked on my mother’s door at 2 this morning,” Carlo Kevianne said late Tuesday. “They said his plane went down, and they weren’t able to find him.”A new concrete walkway was poured Tuesday at Carlo Kevianne’s home. […]