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Services set for Navy graduate killed in Afghanistan crash

Sept. 23, 2010

By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

Services for Brendan Looney, a Navy lieutenant and former Naval Academy lacrosse player killed in Afghanistan this week, have been tentatively set for Sept. 30 at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Silver Spring.

A wake will be held in the church at 12319 New Hampshire Ave. the night before the Mass.

Looney, 29, a Silver Spring native, was among nine U.S. military personnel killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday in southern Afghanistan. He was a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs and a 2004 Naval Academy graduate.

He and his brothers, Billy, who lives in Virginia Beach, Va., and Steve, of Coronado, Calif., were the subject of news stories when all three played for the Naval Academy lacrosse team.

"He paved the road for us," said his sister, Bridget Looney, a lacrosse coach for Harvard University who lives in Boston. "Brendan was a remarkable guy. He was the oldest child in the family and he showed us how it was to be done. He taught us what hard work meant. He showed us how not to give up on yourself."

Looney lived in Owings in Southern Maryland and was a 1999 graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, where he played varsity football and baseball.

"Brendan was a three-time letter winner in lacrosse, a history major, and a member of the 18th Company," said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller. "Lieutenant Looney will be sorely missed by his colleagues and his many other friends from the Naval Academy. His willingness to serve our nation during a time of conflict serves to remind us all of the commitment we make to our country as leaders in the Naval Service.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Looney family, and our broader Naval Academy family; I would ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers at this most difficult of times," the superintendent said in a statement.



Looney's sister said the family traveled Wednesday to Dover, Del., to receive his coffin. His body had not been released to the family, pending an autopsy, she said.

Also surviving are Looney's wife of two years, the former Amy Hastings; his parents, Kevin and Maureen Looney of Silver Spring; and two other sisters, Erin Looney of Silver Spring and Kellie Looney of Courtland, N.Y.

The Associated Press reported that the crash was "the worst coalition helicopter crash in Afghanistan in four years." The cause was not immediately clear. "NATO said there were no reports of enemy fire at the time in the Daychopan district of Zabul province, where the crash took place," AP reported.

Tuesday's crash was the deadliest in Afghanistan since May 2006, when a Chinook helicopter went down while attempting a nighttime landing on a small mountaintop in eastern Kunar province, killing 10 U.S. soldiers.

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