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Matthew Chialastri

U.S. Navy Photo

Matthew Chialastri was an avid student of history at Baton Rouge's Woodlawn High School and a cadet in the Junior ROTC program. Friends weren't surprised when Chialastri went on to serve his country in the U.S. Navy.

We join the many state and community leaders who have offered their condolences on his untimely death.

Chialastri was one of 11 people on a C-2A Greyhound flying to the USS Ronald Reagan on Wednesday when it crashed into the Philippine Sea, the Navy reported. The plane was flying a routine transport flight with passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to the carrier when it crashed around 2:45 p.m. about 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa.

Two others were lost in the crash: Lt. Steven Combs and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso, both of Florida. The Baton Rouge sailor was an aviation boatswain's mate.

Fortunately, the other crew and passengers were rescued, but this is a tragic reminder that even in routine operations around the world, young Americans can be at risk from accidents.

Service to one's country requires such risks. We hope that the knowledge of Louisiana's appreciation for his service is a comfort to his family and friends.