User submit: Yuma AZ Training Exercise Disaster (6 Photos and story)

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“As a long time Chiver, I would like to share a story of a great man.  My cousin Lt. Col. Thomas Budrejko was one of the seven Marines killed when two helicopters collided in Yuma, AZ.  A great marine, he served three tours in Iraq; one in Afghanistan and one in Kosovo.  He left a wife and 2 year old son behind.  He loved life more than anyone I know.
In his honor, our family and friends are running in the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K in October.  We are trying to raise $1000 dollars to show the support for him and the 6 other marines who lost their lives that day.  The money goes to the Semper Fi Fund, an organization that helps service members who have suffered catastrophic injuries in the service.  Any help from the Chive community would be awesome.
Chive on,
Sean Wargo
McAdoo, PA”
If you have a buck on you, please consider sending it towards the Budrejko family and other fallen Marines
Click here to donate

If you have a buck on you, please consider sending it towards the Budrejko family and other fallen Marines
Click here to donate



  1. etcrr says:

    #1 very sweet photo, R.I.P. Lt. Col. Thomas Budrejko, you will be missed. God Bless you and your family

  2. Sean says:

    To read more about my cousin Tom, go here
    A big thank you to everyone at the Chive for posting this.

    • Rick says:

      give me some time, I'm planning on getting this linked to theChive as well. Thanks for sharing this powerful story.

  3. David in Texas says:

    Hey Chive guys, if there was ever a post on Brigade begging for an upgrade to full Chive exposure, this is it. You want some real cash to start rolling in for this family and our Marines, move this post to Chive and you'll probably quintuple their donations. I get that there are only so many things you can put there asking for money, but this cause already made the cut, so let's promote it to the Show!

    • Rick says:

      trust me, I'm going to try and put this on theChive. It can be a bit tough b/c last week I did another user submit that was powerful like this story…but trust me, I'm working on the right timing.

  4. Sean says:

    Just so there is no confusion, these funds help Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces with injuries suffered as a result of there service. The support generated is in memory of Lt. Col. Thomas Budrejko. Thank you for your support.

    I want to thank everyone who donates – Tommy would be proud of us all.

  5. acc says:

    This story breaks my heart, for a man who dedicated his life to serving his country– surviving three tours in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and one in Kosovo, only to be lost in a training accident is just cruel fate. A very tragic loss to the Marine community and US armed forces. Condolences to the Budrejko family and others who lost their lives in this incident.

  6. army FO says:

    thank you sir, you will not be forgotten

  7. Sean says:

    I would like to thank each and every one of you who has shown support for my cousin. The unbelievable kindness from this community has been amazing. We're almost half way to our goal! Even more important, the kind words here has made this one of the best days me and my family have had lately. All of this is way more than we could ever ask for. I feel proud to be a part of theChive community. Thank you all.

  8. Rob says:

    Donation made – great cause, i'm sure it will blow up, this community pretty much rocks.

    • Rick says:

      Thanks man. At the end of the day, political bs will always be there but, maybe, this gig can walk a line of fun and sh*t that actually matters. And there's my utopian statement for the week (kind of surprised I spelled utopian correct) anyways, I think little things can add up…these powerful stories should be told.

  9. Mimi says:

    This community is amazing! Makes me realize how many caring people are in the world. Tom was the most incredible, loving and truly humble person that I have ever known. He inspired all who met him and I know he is smiling down on us now. Thank you everyone!

  10. Jeff says:

    Former Marine myself. Donated.

  11. el jefe de jefes says:

    Donated. Godspeed, Sir. My prayers go out to all the families of fallen service men and women. Thank you for your service.

  12. Chris Budrejko says:

    Thank you so much for putting this post on the Brigade, it means a lot to my family and I.

    Chris, Matt, Tracey and Steve Budrejko

  13. Tyler says:

    As a fellow marine and a marine who was at the site where the crash happened I give you my thoughts and prayers. Everyone I talked to from his unit says he was a great man and a great marine. God speed and semper fidelis

  14. Sean says:

    In a state of both shock and overwhelming gratitude I write this. I cannot verbalize how extremely grateful we are for what the Chive community has done for us. I wish I could say I am surprised, but watching your kindness in action has left a profound sense of humbleness throughout our family. I just received an email informing me that the last donor, in an amazing act of selflessness, has put us at our goal! I am eternal grateful for all this community has done. You guys have just earned the fifth place fundraising spot out of all the Semper Fi Fund volunteers. Well done Chive, well done. If you want to continue donating, it will defiantly go towards a great cause. Thanks you so much. And thank you Rick, for making this happen.

    • Sean says:

      P.S. – I am looking to have custom running shorts made with TheChive / TheBrigade logo's for our run in the MCM, to show our support for such an awesome group of people. Chive On!

  15. Rachel says:

    It never fails to make me sad to hear of a soldier dying, no matter where they come from. He looked like a top bloke. I'll stick a couple quid in the kitty as well. My friends and I are big supporters of the Help for Heroes campaign too:)

  16. Holmespump says:

    Sean – I never had the honor of meeting Lt Col. Budrejko, but I am very close with his Mother-in-Law (I work with her; she is a surrogate aunt to my children) and know his wife and son. That little guy has proven himself a survivor – in two years of life he has been through more than more than most of us — before losing his father. Tom's death was a loss to everyone – whether they know it or not. Thanks for bringing the Sempre Fi Fund to our attention.

  17. Ryan says:

    Lt. Col. Thomas Budrejko,
    I grew up running cross country in Yuma and have probly seen you in the skies on many of my runs. As an aspiring pilot myslef in AFROTC, I can barely start to attest to your sacrafice to this country, something I aspire to attain myself. Thank you for your service and I will surly miss seeing one less black hawk in the skys when I go back to Yuma for summer training.

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  21. Bgb says:

    As a former Vengeance Ordie, I must say it was an honor working for him. Semper Fi, Sir, BGB

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