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Bringing Home Fallen Virginia Sailor, Dakota Rigsby

Dakota Rigsby, the 19-year-old Navy sailor from Palmyra, VA, was one of seven sailors killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship on June 17, off the coast of Japan. Rigsby was a gunner’s mate seaman in the Navy. He also served as a volunteer firefighter–along with his mother–at Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department (Co. 5) in his community.  He graduated from Fluvanna County High School in 2015 where he played football as an offensive and defensive lineman.

Departing from Dover, Delaware this morning, Dakota Rigsby’s body was escorted all the way back to Fluvanna County, coming down I-95 and I-64. He had a large entourage of police, fire, and rescue personnel escorting him home, with a number of communities paying tribute along the way:


Gum Spring overpass on I-64

Finally, at about 3:30, the procession exited I-64 and entered Fluvanna County. His body passed by Kents Store Volunteer Fire Department (Co. 3), and many in the community lined up to wave flags and stand by in silence.

The procession continued on for about another 10 miles to the community of Lake Monticello where his family was waiting.  A memorial service for Rigsby is planned for this Saturday, July 1st, at 1 p.m. at the Fluvanna County High School auditorium.

The other sailors who perished are: Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio, who was currently living in Virginia.; Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut; Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California; and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland.

We owe a debt that can never be repaid as we honor a fallen hero who has given the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Freedom is not free.