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STATEMENT FROM IDVA DIRECTOR TERRY PRINCE

Press Release - Friday, July 01, 2022

July 1, 2022 - Governor JB Pritzker ordered flags across Illinois to fly at half-staff to honor one of our own. Corporal Nathan Carlson, a Marine hero and fellow Illinoisan, returned home after making the ultimate sacrifice of military service when he and four fellow Marines perished in an aircraft accident during a training exercise in the California desert. His wife Emily Baxter-Carlson; his parents, Eric and Karrie Carlson; and his sisters Casey and Mylee Carlson, along with countless friends and family will celebrate his life at his funeral on Saturday, July 2, 2022. Following the service, he will be honored by a flyover of Marine Corps aircraft over his alma mater--Harlem High School in Machesney Park.

In his short military career, Corporal Carlson's leadership, dedication, and fearlessness were evident. He trained as an Enlisted Marine Aircrew member, charged with performing in-flight duties to ensure the successful completion of combat, reconnaissance, transport and search and rescue missions. In 2020, he reported to the Center of Naval Aviation Technical Training at Marine Corps Air Station, New River where he learned mechanical skills of the MV-22B Osprey. Later, he was assigned to Marine Air Group 26 for initial crew chief training at Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204. In September 2020, Lance Corporal Carlson was "winged" and officially became a Naval Aircrewman. He was promoted to Corporal and served in the Flight Line Division as a Basic Instructor Crew Chief and Plane Captain.
He was later deployed with the squadron to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command based out of Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait and Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. He also trained to become an instructor in low altitude tactics, night systems, and tail gunnery all the while amassing over 70 hours of combat flight time and 500 hours total.

As a young man, Corporal Carlson decided to serve and protect his nation. The skills he acquired and his rapid elevation to instructor of highly technical systems demonstrated his commitment to excelling in his military career. Corporal Carlson had dreams of a life with his wife and family, and we stand by his family and friends in mourning their loss.
His service will always be remembered and honored by the people of the State of Illinois.

For more information contact: Maureen Hartigan, 773-590-9848 or maureen.hartigan@illinois.gov.

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