Local News

Family remembers Marine killed in Afghanistan

Posted October 29, 2009 9:39 p.m. EDT
Updated November 4, 2009 11:48 a.m. EST

— Since her son Seth joined the Marines, Connie Mitchell never doubted he would come home.

“I just felt like he would be safe. I prayed a lot for him…just thought he would be OK,” Mitchell said.

But early Monday morning, military officials went to the Mitchell’s Cary home to tell their son had died.

Capt. David “Seth” Mitchell, 30, was one of four Marines killed when two U.S. Marine helicopters – one UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra – collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand in Afghanistan, military officials said.

Mitchell was born in Charlotte and graduated from Loveland High School in Loveland, Ohio, in 1997.

“He died doing what he loved best,” Connie Mitchell said. “He loved being a Marine and he absolutely loved flying that helicopter. He told me on more than one occasion, ‘Mom, I can’t believe I get paid for what I do.’”

The Mitchell family last talked to Seth when he left for Afghanistan in August. He volunteered to go ahead of his unit because there was a need for Cobra pilots.

“He was just an average boy who had average abilities, but had a heart that drove him further,” his father Steve Mitchell said.

“He was always calling me, checking in, seeing how I was doing,” his brother, Drew Mitchell, said. “He was more than a brother, he was my best friend.”

In their grief, the Mitchell family said they wanted to share their story, but also wanted to pay tribute to all the other men and women serving our country.

“He was a great American and he served his country well and he did what he thought was right,” Steve Mitchell said. “But there’s other folks that are doing the same thing.”

Services will be held in Cary next week. He will be buried next Friday in Arlington National Cemetery.