A U.S. Marine from Frederick, Maryland, was among the victims of the military plane crash in Mississippi on Monday that killed 16 service members.
Staff Sgt. William Kundrat’s mother, Lynda Kundrat, confirmed the death of her 33-year-old son to News4.
"He was one of the elite of the elite. But if you're going to talk about him, don't talk just about him, talk about the entire team," Lynda said. "They were a brotherhood. They were a family."
Sgt. Kundrat served in Iraq, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the time of the crash.
In all, 16 service members -- 15 Marines and one sailor -- were killed when their military transport aircraft crashed en route to El Centro, California, according to a Marine Corps press release.
Corey Thomas, a childhood friend of Sgt. Kundrat, had known him since fourth-grade.
"I have very good memories of being in Boy Scouts together and going through that process, and growing up," Thomas said. "He was a Marine from the beginning. I always expected him to follow that route."
In a Facebook post Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. "The First Lady and I send our prayers to Staff Sgt. Kundrat's family, and to all those who lost loved ones in this tragic accident."
The crash is still under investigation, but the Marine Corps plans to release the names of everyone killed after all families of the deceased have been notified, according to the release.
Sgt. Kundrat’s parents, Lynda and Joseph Kundrat, are still residents of Frederick.