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Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, Mich., assigned to a West Coast-based naval Special warfare unit. He died Aug. 16 in a helicopter crash northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan. He graduated from East Kentwood High School.
After every mission, Navy SEAL David Warsen would call his fiancee in San Diego to tell her he was safe.
Thursday, she never got the call.
It was later that day that two Navy members showed up at the hospital where she worked as neonatal unit nurse to deliver the devastating news.
Today, relatives of David "Davey" Warsen, an East Kentwood High School graduate, are remembering him as a talented and dedicated Navy SEAL who took pride in serving his country.
Warsen was killed Thursday when a Blackhawk helicopter crashed during a Special Operations mission in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
Ten others also died in the crash, including six other American troops.
Warsen, who had been in the Navy for nearly four years, was expected to return to the states by Oct. 1, when his deployment officially ended, said his grandfather, Duke Warsen.
But David Warsen, 27, believed the deployment could end as early as mid-September. He was sent to Afghanistan in December.
Duke Warsen said his grandson was planning to get married to his fiancee on Dec. 8 in Grandville.
"They were happy as two kids in a candy store," Duke Warsen said.
He said he spoke with his grandson frequently, maybe twice a week, and often used Skype to communicate.
He knew his grandson was going on a mission, but Warsen said he never knew many details about any operations because that's the way his grandson wanted it.
"He was very tight-lipped. He didn't want us to worry. But we could hear in his voice, things were pretty bad over there," he said.
At East Kentwood High, David Warsen excelled in soccer. Later, he attended local colleges, intending to become a teacher.
At some point, he and a friend from Holland decided to join the military.
Duke Warsen said his son was well-respected by other Navy members.
"Que le den por culo al Pato Mickey"
Keep Low. Move Fast. Kill First. Die Last. One Shot. One Kill. No Luck. Pure Skill.
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