Services set for Navy graduate killed in Afghanistan crash

Sister of Lt. Brendan Looney, 29, remembers former lacrosse player as 'remarkable'

September 27, 2010|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

Services for Brendan Looney, a Navy lieutenant and former Naval Academy lacrosse player killed in Afghanistan last week, have been set for Oct. 4 at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Silver Spring.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the church at 12319 New Hampshire Ave., with a 1 p.m. burial service at Arlington National Cemetery. His family will receive friends Oct. 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the DeMatha Catholic High School Gym at 4313 Madison St. in Hyattsville.

Lieutenant Looney, 29, a Silver Spring native, was among nine U.S. military personnel killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday in southern Afghanistan. He was a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs and a 2004 Naval Academy graduate.

He and his brothers, Billy, who lives in Virginia Beach, Va., and Steve, of Coronado, Calif., were the subject of news articles when all three played for the Naval Academy lacrosse team.

"He paved the road for us," said his sister, Bridget Looney, a lacrosse coach for Harvard University who lives in Boston. "Brendan was a remarkable guy. He was the oldest child in the family, and he showed us how it was to be done. He taught us what hard work meant. He showed us how not to give up on yourself."

Lieutenant Looney lived in Owings in Southern Maryland and was a 1999 graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, where he played varsity football and baseball.

"Brendan was a three-time letter winner in lacrosse, a history major, and a member of the 18th Company," Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller said in a statement. "Lieutenant Looney will be sorely missed by his colleagues and his many other friends from the Naval Academy. His willingness to serve our nation during a time of conflict serves to remind us all of the commitment we make to our country as leaders in the Naval Service.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Looney family, and our broader Naval Academy family; I would ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers at this most difficult of times," the superintendent said.

Lieutenant Looney's sister said the family traveled Wednesday to Dover, Del., to receive his coffin. His body had not been released to the family, pending an autopsy, she said.

Also surviving are Lieutenant Looney's wife of two years, the former Amy Hastings; his parents, Kevin and Maureen Looney of Silver Spring; and two other sisters, Erin Looney of Silver Spring and Kellie Looney of Cortland, N.Y.

The Associated Press reported that the crash was "the worst coalition helicopter crash in Afghanistan in four years." The cause was not immediately clear. " NATO said there were no reports of enemy fire at the time in the Daychopan district of Zabul province, where the crash took place," AP reported.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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