CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY/AP) — A Marine from Chesapeake has been identified as one of 16 service members killed in a military plane crash in Mississippi.
The U.S. Marine Forces Reserve identified the service members killed Friday morning in posts on social media.
Gunnery Sgt. Mark A. Hopkins, of Chesapeake, received several awards and decorations during his service — including a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and four Humanitarian Service Medals.
The 15 Marines and one Navy sailor were headed for pre-deployment training in Yuma, Arizona when their KC-130 air tanker went down in a cornfield in Mississippi.
Hopkins, a navigator stationed at Stewart, joined the Marines in 2001, shortly after graduating from Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Nicknamed “Hoppy,” his deployments included a tour in Okinawa from 2004 to 2006.
Hopkins leaves behind his wife, Patricia and three children, 2-year-old Wyatt, 1-year-old Abby and infant Lewis, according to a family statement released through Hopkins’ church near the air base in New York.
“He was an avid traveler and especially enjoyed spur-of-the-moment road trips — there was never a dull moment with him,” the statement says. “He was a deeply spiritual man who shared his faith with others and lived his life to its fullest.”
Hopkins was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan and his mother and brother live in nearby Belleville. A sister lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, while a brother lives in Louisville, Kentucky.