If you ask anyone who knew Elizabethville native Brett Shadle, they’ll tell you he lived and breathed one thing.
“Had the dream of being a Navy SEAL ever since he was in eighth grade,” said Tom Hain, a friend of Shadle’s family.
In his Upper Dauphin Area High School yearbook, Shadle listed joining the Navy as his number one ambition. Hain said his dreams became a reality shortly after graduation in 2000.
“After he graduated, he started training immediately. He was deployed many times overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said.
But that dream was cut short Thursday when Shadle, a SEAL Team Six member, was killed during a parachute training accident in Arizona.
“He was doing a training mission and his parents were somewhat relieved that he wasn’t overseas at this point in time. To have this happen is a total shock and really sad for the whole community,” Hain said.
In the small, tight-knit Dauphin County town of Elizabethville, it’s a loss many people are struggling to come to terms with.
“We only think we read about it from other communities. You don’t really think…gosh, I know that person,” said Elizabethville Mayor Timothy Matter.
Shadle leaves behind a one-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. The cause of the training accident is under investigation.