One of the five Marines killed Wednesday afternoon during routine training in Imperial County, California, was the son of former Los Angeles Dodger Steve Sax.
Captain John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California, was among the crew of an MV-22 Osprey, belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, which crashed in a desert area near Glamis, California, killing all five crew members.
“With utter devastation, I can announce that my precious son, Johnny, was one of five (5) United States Marines who were killed in the Osprey Military crash near San Diego on Wednesday, June 8,” Steve Sax said in a statement. . “For those of you who knew Johnny, you saw his big smile, bright light, his love for his family, the Marines, the joy of flying airplanes and defending our country! He was my hero and the best man who I know, there was no better person to defend our country.”
The former Dodger said his son wanted to be a pilot since he was young and would talk about the types of planes that flew over while playing in the outfield in Little League Baseball.
“From an early age there was never any doubt that Johnny would become a pilot and his passion was to fly! I am so proud of the man he became and so proud to call him my son!” read his statement. “This loss will change my life forever and is a loss not only to the Marines but to this world!”
33-year-old Marine Capt. was based at Camp Pendleton and had served the Corps for five years and eight months. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Letter of Appreciation, the statement said.