A hero passed last week. Saturday he received his due:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) — Nearly 800 family, friends, active duty and retired service members gathered at the Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek Chapel July 29, to pay their final respects to retired Master Chief Carl Brashear, the Navy‚Äôs first black Master Diver and a man whose boundless determination inspired every walk of life. Brashear died July 25 at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth of respiratory and heart failure. He was 75.
Brashear joined the Navy in 1948 at the age of 17, shortly after the Navy had desegregated. In 1954 he was accepted and graduated from the diving program.
In 1967, a year after an injury onboard the salvage ship Hoist cost him his left leg, Brashear became the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee. For many, his courage broke barriers and helped changed attitudes about the disabled.
To his legacy, Brashear was the the only amputee deep-sea diver to reach the status of Master Diver and the first black man to ever become Master Diver of the U.S. Navy, a position he held from 1975 to 1977. Brashear retired from the Navy in 1979 after more than 30 years of service.
There’s nothing I can write which would add a grain of sand to this brave and dedicated man’s legacy. I can only join in the salute.