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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

Strike Fighter Squadron 103 Pays Respects to Fallen Sailor

by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice D.S. Randol
14 June 2021

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103 performed a flyover for a bridge dedication ceremony in Suffield, Connecticut, June 12.
 

The bridge is being dedicated as the Dustin L. Doyon Memorial Bridge in the name of a lifelong resident of Suffield: an Electronics Technician Petty Officer 2nd Class (ET2) and certified Search and Rescue Swimmer, who died in 2017 while deployed aboard USS John C. McCain (DDG-56). 
 

In 2017, USS John C. McCain suffered a steering failure off the coast of Malaysia and a collision occurred between the destroyer and a Liberian commercial tanker.

Doyon was among ten Sailors who lost their lives following the collision. 
 

“It is an honor and privilege for us to participate in the ET2 Doyon bridge dedication,” said Lt. Gregory Riddell, a pilot for VFA 103. “It is important to recognize the sacrifices and celebrate the lives of our fellow Sailors.  ET2 Doyon made the ultimate sacrifice, and his professionalism and dedication to service is an inspiration to all of us.”  

Bridge Dedication
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | Bridge Dedication Bridge Dedication

Cmdr. Jason Papadopoulos, Executive Officer VFA 103, spent a portion of his youth in Suffield. Upon learning about the dedication, he put forth the effort to have his squadron participate for the sake of Doyon, in the spirit of the unspoken bond between Sailors.
 

“Having the opportunity for our squadron to honor a fellow service member is extremely humbling,” said Papadopoulos. “The flyover is especially important to me because of the shared tie of Suffield, Connecticut. Though I will not be flying, I will at least be able to send pilots from VFA 103 to honor ET2 Doyon.”
 

The town of Suffield’s municipal officers were likewise moved by Doyon’s story, and hope the renaming of the recently renovated bridge will ensure the perpetuation of his memory and legacy. 
 

“As a community, we promised never to forget Dustin’s sacrifice,” said Suffield First Selectwoman Melissa M. Mack. “This bridge will forever bear his name for generations to come.”
 

The bridge, located on Remington Street, which connects Mountain Road and Route 75, reopened on December 11, 2020, following a six-month overhaul. Along with the renaming of the bridge, a small plaque and memorial for reflection at the foot of the bridge will be unveiled.

 


 
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