Suffield mourning lost sailor

SUFFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) –  The days of anxious waiting are over. The U.S. Navy has confirmed the worst. We now know that Petty Officer Dustin Doyon was among those killed aboard the USS John McCain.

Flags were lowered to half staff in his native Suffield. First Selectwoman Melissa Mack came out on the front steps of Town Hall this morning and said their hearts are broken.

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“Our community is in mourning as we remember him and proudly recognize his great sacrifice,” Mack said.

Bob Brackett, a family friend, was sitting on a folding chair on the Town Hall lawn long before Mack gave her brief statement.

“A 26 year old man is dead, and his parents have to cope with that,” Brackett said. “I wouldn’t even know what to say to Karen or Brian. I wouldn’t even know what to say, and I’m friends with them.”

Doyon was killed early Monday when an oil tanker rammed right into the side of the guided missile destroyer. Ten sailors died. Some may have been swept overboard. Navy divers went down into the flooded compartments to try to find bodies still on board. They found at least two, and Doyon was one of them.

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Doyon was an electronics technician. He joined the Navy two years ago. He graduated from a catholic high school just over the border in Massachusetts in 2009.

His family has asked for privacy, but did put out a written statement that reads, in part, “Dustin was a wonderful son, big brother, and sailor. He truly loved his family, the Navy and his shipmates. We are incredibly proud of him and his service to our country. We will miss him immensely and we are so very thankful for the 26 wonderful years we had together.”

Previous Story: Suffield family awaits word about missing son aboard USS John McCain

The loss has Brackett thinking about his own son, a 19 year old Marine sniper.

“You know, it’s easy to just go out to a bar on a Friday night under the umbrella of freedom they provide. We all need to remember that,” Brackett said. “You can do what you want because you can and people like that provide it for us.”

With the family asking for privacy, any cards, condolences, anything for the family should be sent care of:

First Selectman’s Office

Suffield Town Hall

83 Mountain Rd.

Suffield, CT 06078

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