Dallastown sailor's mother still sear...

Dallastown sailor's mother still searching for answers about hi...

There are 27 comments on the The York Daily Record story from Mar 7, 2010, titled Dallastown sailor's mother still searching for answers about hi.... In it, The York Daily Record reports that:

He's there every night, waiting for Caroline Lenhart Spahr. When she closes her eyes, she sees the pictures from the Navy reports, her son's blood on the boat deck.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The York Daily Record.

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York, PA

#1 Mar 7, 2010
I want to send my condolences to Gatlins Family. He was such a lovable person. I went to highschool with Gatlin and always remember him being so smart, and easy to get along with. I also remember how much he loved Kelly. I am so sorry, and this absolutley was a preventable death.
Carrier Sailor

Chesapeake, VA

#2 Mar 7, 2010
I too, would like to send my condolences to the Gatlins. I serve onboard a carrier(CVN75) and it is heartbreaking to read about a shipmate and a fellow hometown hero losing his life while on duty for his country. Godspeed to the Gatlins.

Westminster, MD

#3 Mar 7, 2010
It was a horrible accident and nothing more.
Let Go

Spring Grove, PA

#4 Mar 7, 2010
Accidents happen. Im sure this was preventable, as almost all are. Some of the responsiblity falls on her son. Ultimately, and she should realize this being she carries union safety certification, the number one person responsible for your safety is you.
Mother in Dover

York, PA

#5 Mar 7, 2010
For God's sake!!!! It was an ACCIDENT!!!
Mother in Dover

York, PA

#6 Mar 7, 2010
Seek in the LORD...he will show you what you are looking for!!!! No Navy official on this planet can do that for YOU!!!! I feel deeply for YOU!!!! My husband retired Navy!!!! They do not throw you into a dangerous situation for no good reason, purely an accident and needs to be treated as such.
navy mom

Glen Rock, PA

#7 Mar 7, 2010
My deepest sympathy to the family. The navy made some policy changes so hopefully it will never happen again. It won't bring your son back, but maybe it will save the life of another. I hope you find peace.
Citizen in Mechanicsburg

Camp Hill, PA

#8 Mar 7, 2010
As a Sailor of 16 years, I can tell you that it is always very difficult to maintain water/sewage/trash services required for a ship at anchor or inport when water is choppy. Being a Sailor is dangerous business. I can tell you that the Navy is hyper-sensitive to safety issues, but it is absolutely impossible to eliminate all of the risk associated with certain tasks. The only way to eliminate injury or death is to not go to sea, which is not an option. Your son died helping his ship as it was accomplishing its very important mission of engaging with foreign countries and militaries...he did not die in vain. My condolences to you and your family. The country owes you a debt of gratitude. It's always difficult to understand how something like this could happen because most of us live in comfortable homes in comfortable towns where we're able to live and work with minimal risk. Ensuring freedom abroad is hard, dangerous work that sometimes results in seemingly senseless accidents. I've seen these guys perform these tasks a million times at sea and I'm surprised people don't get hurt more often. I can tell you that they do receive robust training and supervision during these evolutions, but again, accidents happen. Find solace in your son's service to his country that allows us to enjoy good lives here at home.
speechless in windsor

York, PA

#9 Mar 7, 2010
My heart truly goes out to Caroline, Kelly, and Gatlin's friends and family...what a terrible tragedy. May God Bless and keep all of those who've known and loved Gatlin and give you'all the comfort of knowing he is at peace and wants you to be too.
Smile as you remember him and don't get hung up on the heart-wrenching sorrow of losing him, It will be hard Not to; but pray for strength to pull through this.(I've buried both of my sons and nearly lost my daughter, I know what this can do to your very soul, Never give up- Ever)If you Ever need a person to talk to who will not judge or give opinions,just listen - reply

York, PA

#10 Mar 7, 2010
The ENTIRE military works/exists in a very dangerous environment. The training is unbelievable for anyone who has never been there. There are "check lists" on top of "check lists" and accidents still happen. Reports/findings are analyzed and then corrective measures are instituted. This lady, being a Union Safety Certified construction worker certain should know about construction accidents. Are there NO construction accidents, even with all the safety measures in place. Much respect for ALL who work in dangerous environments so that we are able to enjoy our lifestyle. Their sacrifices are way beyond a simple THANK YOU! Condolences to Petty Officer Green's family. Fair winds and following seas...
Just a Thought

Felton, PA

#11 Mar 7, 2010
As the mother of a recently retired Navy Chief, I TOTALLY understand the worry/concern that the parent of a child serving our country can bring.
Accidents DO happen, and unfortunately people are injured/or die. But they are just THAT....ACCIDENTS.
I am SO totally thankful for our military and that they are SO willing to place their lives on the line, to insure all of us, our freedom.
I DO hope and pray that Mrs. Spahr will be able to live knowing that her son did not die in vain.
He was a GOOD sailor, a GOOD son/husband.
May GOD give her the strength and peace to accept what has happened.
GOD Bless you, Mrs. Spahr, and THANK YOU for your son's service & sacrifice for our country.
Fair winds and following seas....

York, PA

#12 Mar 7, 2010
God bless and be with you, giving you the strength you need to heal. I never knew your son, but I am sure he loved you very much. Because he loved you I think you know he wouldn't want you to dwell on the sadness your heart carries because he has been carried home. It would sadden him deeply knowing how tortured you now are. When things like this happen we lose some of who and what we are ourselves, never again to be the same, but we can't let it destroy our lives. Though it is hard, those we love need to have lived for something. Your son losing his life has changed the way the Navy now carries out it's operations. That is one small positive that came from his great sacrifice. Being able to live with the ability to once again find reasons to smile in our hearts is another way we can give their having lived more meaning. That is what they would want us to do for them. When I lost someone I loved in a tragic accident some years ago I almost lost my mind. I know what it is like to scream silently inside in pain all waking moments. I have cried so hard I was unable to form words to pray. God carried me. Now I have learned to smile that I had that chance to love and be loved by them instead of cry. I carry their memory in my heart always only a thought away. I live my life as if there is no tomorrow, looking for even small reasons to be thankful for the gift of my life, because another never came for the one I loved. I truly pray you can heal to the point that you too can once again find more reasons to smile in your heart for your son than to cry, celebrating by your finding your way to being happy again in his honor.

Lehigh Acres, FL

#13 Mar 7, 2010
In America the US military always has and always will screw their soldiers and nothing to be done when something should be think I'm lying ask a Veteran

New Oxford, PA

#14 Mar 7, 2010
I can only imagine your pain and sorrow. I hope you find the answers you seek and your grief bbecomes bearable.

York, PA

#15 Mar 7, 2010
Why would they send the family pictures like that?
You ARE Wrong

York, PA

#16 Mar 7, 2010
wooooooo wrote:
In America the US military always has and always will screw their soldiers and nothing to be done when something should be think I'm lying ask a Veteran
Hog wash, you ARE speaking to a veteran. THE military operates in the manner they do for a reason. You cannot have all Chiefs and no Indians; that simple. Critical decisions must be made. They get paid to make them; sometimes WRONG. Yea, you're lying or have no idea what-so-ever how the program operates. I knew that WHEN I signed on the dotted line! I was and am still taken very good care of by THE military. Then again, I didn't/don't bitch and moan about EVERY little event.
Mother in Dover

York, PA

#17 Mar 7, 2010
wooooooo wrote:
In America the US military always has and always will screw their soldiers and nothing to be done when something should be think I'm lying ask a Veteran
This was a sailor!!!! Not a soldier.....and sounds like to me you should have served in a foreign country instead with your discontent thoughts of the US military, just a thought!!!!!

Pikeville, KY

#18 Mar 7, 2010
My son was deployed on the Stennis when this terrible tragedy happened. He did not know Petty Officer Green personally. When my daughter in law called to tell me there had been a fatality my heart dropped to my stomach. I pray for our fallen sailor's family. That they find the answers to the questions they ask, that they find peace and comfort through memories of their loved one.

Timisoara, Romania

#19 Mar 7, 2010
Condolences to Petty Officer Green's family and friends. As an American living abroad, it means the world to me that a fine young man like Green would be willing to serve his country to ensure its freedom. May his tribe increase. It is, of course, easy to "armchair quarterback" in these situations. Nevertheless, just as on construction sites, one would have thought that a helmet or hard hat would have been a simple, normal, logical requirement in these situations. The U.S. Navy may have a reason why that wasn't required for all I know, but it sure seems like a reasonable one to me.
Citizen in Mechanicsburg

Camp Hill, PA

#20 Mar 8, 2010
While it may or may not be the case that a helmet could have saved the young man, it's also quite possibly the case that requiring Sailors to wear a heavy, cumbersome piece of gear while they are performing tasks that require significant agility might very well cause more accidents that it would prevent. The standard plastic construction helmet would not do in this case. A heavy metal one would be required, but that would slow down their movements and impair their peripheral vision, which is crucial in that environment. There is definitely a point of diminishing returns when it comes to protective gear. It's so easy to just say "they should wear helmets" without thinking about the ramifications of implementing such a requirement.

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