With his family by his side, Jonathan (Jon) Richard Clement was called home to his heavenly father on the afternoon of July 31, 2018 in San Diego.
Jon, a U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Aircrewman/Rescue Swimmer, suffered severe head injuries as a result of a fatal mishap while preforming a quick-turn post flight inspection of a U.S. Navy HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter during training at Naval Air Station North Island.
Jon is survived by his parents, Chris and Laura Clement of Vero Beach, Florida; his siblings Christopher (Stephanie) Clement of Vero Beach, Matthew Clement of Clarkesville, Tennesee and Rebecca Clement of Imperial Beach; nieces Caroline Clement of Vero Beach and Milania Clement of Clarkesville; grandparents Al and Jeanne Elias of Vero Beach and Joan Goddard of Manassas Park, Virginia; many aunts and uncles, first and second cousins.
Jon, the second oldest of four children, spent seven wonderful years of his life living in Herndon, Virginia. With both sides of his parents’ immediate families living in the area, family gatherings were always special as he had a plethora of older cousins (mostly boys) to rough-house with. Jon spent many weekends at his grandparent’s lake house at Lake Anna learning to swim, fish, canoe, waterski, play cards and do pretty much all the things adventurous young boys do.
In 1993, the family moved to Boca Raton, Florida. Jon played baseball, soccer and ice hockey in the local youth programs. Jon’s love for sports was nurtured by the countless professional football, baseball and hockey games that his grandparents took him and his brother to. Despite moving to South Florida, Jon’s passion and love for the Washington Redskins never faded.
In 2000, Jon’s family moved to Vero Beach. Jon attended Vero Beach High School, playing baseball and football, graduating in 2006. Although a very good student, he never intended or expressed a desire to go to college; he would rather go to work and get his “life” started as he put it.
After working construction for The Hill Group that summer, Jon was hired by Piper Aircraft Co. as an apprentice in their sheet metal shop.
Jon enlisted in the Navy in June of 2007 and began basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, then on to San Diego where he requested aircrew training in Pensacola, Florida. He excelled as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer and Aircrewman. Jon was then transferred to HELSEACOMBATRON THREE (HSC-3) in San Diego where he completed fleet transition training in 2009 and was officially designated a deployable Naval Aircrewman/Rescue Swimmer. He resided in Imperial Beach when not deployed after 2008.
Jon was assigned to HSC-12 “Golden Falcons” crewing the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter from 2009-2014, where he went on two 9-month deployments aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On the second deployment in 2012, by sheer coincidence, Jon found himself serving with his younger brother Matthew whose squadron, the “Vigilantes” of VFA-151 was also assigned to the Lincoln. Jon’s third deployment was aboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73) crewing the MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter where his squadron, HSC-12, was highly instrumental in supporting humanitarian relief operations in the Philippine Islands, rescuing survivors, delivering food, water and materials following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
Following Jon’s three WESTPAC deployments, he was assigned to shore duty at HSCWEPCOLPAC (HSC Weapons School) at NAS North Island where he served as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI) from 2014 to 2017. In June 2017, Jon was assigned to the elite “Fire Hawks” of HSC-85 where he continued to serve providing fleet honed training and leadership to his aircrew shipmates in addition to serving as an HH60-H Sea Hawk Door Gunner and NATOPS Leading Petty Officer, providing dedicated rotary wing support to U.S. Special Operations Command.
Jon’s personal awards and commendations include five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals and a Flag Letter of Commendation. He received various unit awards to include a Meritorious Unit Citation and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Jonathan will be laid to rest with military honors in Vero Beach, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to one of Jon’s favorite programs, the Special Liberty Project’s Gold Star Corp Mentoring Program. Jon shared his passion for the sport of archery by volunteering his time teaching and mentoring children of fallen service members through this program. For more information visit https://www.gofundme.com/jon-clement.
The Clement Family is eternally grateful for the love, compassion and assistance extended to us by the men and women of HSC-85, Jon’s former commands and all of Jon’s wonderful friends that rallied to our side during those extremely difficult days following his passing and since.
Our heartfelt gratitude will forever be yours.