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SEAL dies 11/11/2004 after bike wreck in Ukraine
NORFOLK — A good day for Lt. Cmdr. Scott E. Groeschner meant cycling back and forth between his duty station in Gaeta, Italy, and Rome.
The Navy SEAL used the 120-mile round trip to stay fit and train for races on the amateur Italian cycling circuit.
Groeschner, 36, faced many risks in his chosen occupation, but his love of cycling proved fatal. Groeschner was struck by a vehicle on Nov. 9 while cycling with five other military members on a street in Sevastopol, Ukraine.
On Friday, he died of his injuries at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Groeschner was stationed at Little Creek Amphibious Base for 10 years, serving with SEAL team 2 and SEAL team 8 until 2000. He was deployed aboard the command ship La Salle and assigned to the U.S. Sixth Fleet in Gaeta, a Navy spokesman said.
Groeschner was a gifted athlete, running cross-country and playing baseball at Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., said his father, John Groeschner Sr.
Scott Groeschner earned an ROTC scholarship and attended Notre Dame, where he threw himself into the demanding physical routine it took to become a Navy SEAL. He often was seen running around the Notre Dame campus in combat boots, pumping his legs up and down the steps at the football stadium, his father said.
“He knew right from a young age he wanted to go into the military,” said the elder Groeschner, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla. All three of the family’s children served in the military, he said.
Scott Groeschner married Michelle Anastasiou of Newport News in 2000. The two met playing beach volleyball and often cycled together, said her father, Mike Anastasiou.
Groeschner earned decorations for four sea service deployments and the global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, according to the Navy.
On Nov. 9, Groeschner cycled around the seaside town of Sevastopol with several military friends. His bike struck a bump, or a rut, and pushed him into traffic, his father said. He was struck by a vehicle . He was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to Landstuhl, where he died.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. “He worked hard and he played hard,” said John Groeschner . “He got taken too soon.”
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