Highly Decorated Airman Dies in California

Former TSgt. Sean Harvell, a combat controller who earned two Silver Stars, multiple Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart, died April 26 in Long Beach, Calif. Harvell, 33, was one of only three airmen to receive two Silver Stars. Retired CMSgt. John Thomas said Harvell “was easy to love because what he gave back to those he cared about.” Harvell overcame and persevered on the battlefield and in everyday life, Thomas said in an Air Force Special Operations Command release. Col. Michael Flatten, vice commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing, said Harvell served admirably, “often in the face of insurmountable odds.” He was “a fierce warrior on the battlefield, and an incredible brother to those who served alongside him,” Flatten said. Harvell was found unresponsive in the ocean near his apartment, reported the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Police said there were no obvious signs of foul play. The Los Angeles County Coroner has completed an autopsy, but is waiting on further tests to determine the cause of death.