Friday, June 12, 2015

• Memorial Service of Marine Sgt. Eric Seaman

Today was a most somber day out at The Diamond (AKA Storm Stadium) in Lake Elsinore. At 10:00AM the funeral for Marine Sergeant Eric Seaman started with the family walking in from the area behind the fence in left field, down the line and to the infield where they had seats set up just behind the home plate area.

He died on May 12, 2015 while on a mission of mercy, delivering aid to the people of Nepal, when the helicopter he was in crashed.

The American flags were flying as the pallbearers fulfilled their duties.

Then the pallbearers brought the flag draped casket, containing Eric Seaman's body, to a central spot between the podium and the grieving family.

There were many fine eulogies by those closest to him. I especially liked the one from his brother-in-law Brad Case. He touched on how they were friends since high school and that Eric had talked him into playing football... and not long afterward he chose soccer instead; a lighthearted moment illustrating Eric's ruggedness.
A moment that was difficult to go through... and I'm just a stranger.

The eulogy that was the most inspirational came from Eric's widow Sam Seaman. It's hard to choose highlights, so let me invite you to listen to her own words in the video I put together below. Please forgive the echo of the stadium and some ambient crowd sounds. The video portion is a slow montage of images taken during the procession. It's about nine minutes, and well worth a listen.

If you're a human being, of course you'll well up while listening to her words. I suggest that you take a moment to listen to them and then reflect. Reflect on the service he gave to the country, and that he lost his life while trying to help others. You may just feel moved enough to dish out a round of hugs to your family members and lavish them with smiles and kisses too. ☺

A wide angle look from just behind the third base dugout.

Extraordinary Moment I

During the final few moments of the service, three marines dressed in their finest uniforms, noticed something that none of the rest of us did. A gust of wind was about to send the flag that was draping the coffin to the ground, and in unison... as if it were planned, they all three took a few rapid steps and dove to keep it from hitting the ground. 

If it hadn't been for the overwhelming reverence for the day, I'm sure that the crowd would have given them a standing ovation for their diligence.

A large banner for people to write thoughts onto was hanging just inside the turnstiles on the right hand side.
Extraordinary Moment II

As the chaplain was finishing up his remarks a series of shrill cries could be heard from the air above. It was three birds of prey that were rejoicing that the lead bird had something in its talons. Then the bird perched in the light standard directly behind the first base area. 

A moment later, it came swooping down and dropped the mouse and it was hurtling towards the crowd. The hawk then dove and caught it just yards above the heads of the crowd and then soared back up and perched itself on the center of the net lined up with the coffin and the podium. (as seen at the end of the video).

It sat there throughout the last few moments of the service and the closing prayer. The chaplain asked that all would remain in their seats until the family had left the field. After the pallbearers had returned the casket to the hearse, and the family was about 80% down the base line, the hawk then took to flight and followed them, making a sharp left turn at the restaurant near the foul pole disappearing from sight for a moment. Then returned halfway between the foul pole and third base and hovered for a few moments and then was off.

•      •       

In closing I ask this, that each and everyone of you here today honors Eric's legacy by simply being good, honest, hard working, loving and loyal people to one another. I ask that we honor Eric's life by doing what he did when he lost his. Helping others when they need it no matter the costs. Be there for the people you love when they need you no questions asked.  Be a hero... be Eric Seaman.
 — Brad Case, Eric Seaman's brother-in-law

Wildomar Rap wants to express our deepest condolences to Sam Seaman and her two children Roman and Ryleigh, and all those that will be missing him for the rest of their lives


  1. Thank you Joseph for this most beautiful tribute to Eric. He was truly a hero and from what everyone who spoke said, an amazing man in every way. Many moments took my breath away including the two you highlighted. Another one was the Patriot Guard. For the first time in my life, I didn't mind the rumble of motorcycles. They are a remarkable group of men and women.

    May the Seaman family continue to feel the love of our community.

    Dena Piraino

  2. I can only imagine how difficult the day was for the family. As painful as it's been for them now, the real pain hasn't even begun to hit them yet. They're going to need to put maximum effort into being emotionally well as the first year goes by.

  3. Wow Joseph. What a beautiful posting. My wife and I add our sincere condolences to Sgt Eric Seaman's entire family, friends and fellow Marines. Joseph, your posting will bring comfort to Eric's family for years...and generations to come. Thank you!
    Monty and Mary Goddard

  4. Monty and Mary,
    Thank you for the kind words. :)


    1. It's great post! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Dear Joseph,
    I am the proud mother in law of Sgt Eric Seaman. I just re read your post. I just cannot tell you how much I sincerely appreciate your beautiful tribute to our sweet Eric. Im glad you captured "all the right moments" including the three Marines that dived to keep the flag from hitting the ground, THE HAWK, my sons and daughter and sons touching words. Each speaker holds a dear place in our hearts believe me. Dean Ray, the first speaker, was literally at my daughters home day and night while we awaited word from the Marines. The Marine who walked Sammy up to deliver her words of beauty, is also the Marine who gave us "the news:. The Chaplin who spoke also came to Sammys to deliver the message we didn't want to hear. The Marine who started with "Dear Roman...there were private moments among us downfield that were beautiful. I just cant really share them. The other speakers...well...they really really knew Eric and have been by my daughters side even to this day. I appreciate your noted my sons Brad Case's words...I was so very proud of my children that day. Thank you for this beautiful article and someday I will have the opportunity to share it with my grand children. Like I keep saying, a lot of good men die and leave their families behind everyday. Although we miss Eric so much and it doesn't seem fair that he is gone, please know this. Because of our beautiful community, my grandchildren will always have these articles to grown up with and I pray that with each word and picture, they will see what an amazing hero daddy they had. We still stand on God is good and know that we will indeed see him again in the presence of our almighty Savior, Jesus Christ. So thank you...from the bottom of my heart. Proud Mother in law to Sgt Eric Seaman, Margie Thomas

    1. Thank you for your comment. All of the eulogies were moving, and I really was touched by the one that your son gave. Hopefully someone there made a professional level video for the family. It was all something that I think Roman and Ryleigh would want to see someday.


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