Air Force combat veterans and brothers Sean and Andrew Harvell were honored for their military service on Friday with the unveiling of a bench in Bluff Park on Ocean Boulevard and Orizaba Avenue.
Mayor Robert Garcia and Brenda Threatt, executive director of U.S. Vets Long Beach, were among the attendees.
Sean Harvell drowned last year near Alamitos Beach and his brother Andrew Harvell was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 when his helicopter was shot down. More details are available from the Air Force Times.
“This is fantastic,” Doug Thiel told the Post, a 20-year combat veteran who served from 1986 to 2006. “I’m so pleased that these guys put out this much effort and to see it all culminate on this day, It’s pretty inspiring.”
The U.S. Air Force Combat Controllers (CCT) insignia is on the back of the bench above the brothers’ names and the inscription on the front was written by CCT teammates of the Harvell brothers.
“I will say this – think about your life,” said an Air Force Pararescue Jumper and friend of Sean and Andy Harvell in a statement. “Think about a time when you really said, ‘Oh man, this might be it. I wish I could call one person that would help.’ Bar fight, family member dying, think of the worst moment when you needed someone to absolutely sacrifice themselves for you, and only out of the goodness of their heart. Then take you out for beers after. That was Sean and Andy. That was the Harvell brothers.”
Staff Sergeant Andrew William Harvell was a Combat Controller assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Air Force in June 2002 after graduating high school and later completed four combat deployments including operations in support of Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the purple heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Air Force Combat Action Medal.
Technical Sergeant Sean Robert Harvell was a Combat Controller with the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron and was awarded two Silver Stars, the third highest award for valor, on April 29, 2010 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington for his service during multiple engagements in Afghanistan in 2007. He deliberately exposed his position so he could coordinate close air support during an intense 23-hour firefight.
The bench is located across the street from the Galaxy Towers condos at 2999 Ocean Boulevard.