See full statement from Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo:
It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I extend my sincere condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the five brave Guyana Defence Force soldiers who tragically lost their lives in the helicopter crash on December 6, 2023.
During this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you navigate the pain and sorrow that comes with the loss of your loved ones. The sacrifice and dedication of Brigadier Gary Beaton- Project Engineer, GOG; Colonel Michael Shahoud- Commander 1st Infantry Battalion; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles- Pilot; Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome- Commanding Officer Reserve Battalion; and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan- 31 Special Forces Squadron, to the service of their country will forever be remembered and honored.
May you find strength in the cherished memories you shared with your loved ones and in the knowledge that their commitment to duty has left an indelible mark on the nation. We share in your grief and stand united in offering support and solidarity during this trying period.
In honoring the memory of these valiant soldiers, let us also acknowledge the selflessness and bravery they displayed in the line of duty. Their service to Guyana will be remembered as a testament to their unwavering commitment to the principles of duty, honour, and sacrifice.
As you mourn the loss of these heroes, please know that you are not alone. The entire nation joins hands in expressing our deepest sympathies, and we are here to offer any assistance and support that may bring comfort in this challenging time.
May the souls of the departed soldiers rest in eternal peace, and may you find solace in the collective embrace of a grateful nation.
I want to extend my heartfelt wishes for the swift and complete recovery of the two surviving soldiers – Lieutenant Colonel Andio Michael Crawford and Corporal, Dwayne Jackson – who endured this harrowing incident. Their strength and resilience in the face of adversity are a testament to their courage and commitment.