Navy SEAL missing off Kaena Point identified

Leathers, 33, missing off West Oahu since Feb. 19

Published  2:12 PM HST Feb 26, 2013

The Navy has identified the SEAL member missing off Kaena Point as 33-year-old Matthew John Leathers of Woodland, Calif.

On Sunday, authorities suspended the search for Leathers.  The sailor became separated from other members of his command on Feb. 19 during an open ocean swim training evolution off Oahu's Kaena Point.

More than 24,000 square miles were searched by Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, fire and lifeguard rescue crews.

John Salmonson, head of the Hawaii Ultra Running Team, is a friend of Leathers.  Leathers was part of the team.

Salmonson says Leathers was "well-respected among his friends and Navy SEAL team.  He was very well-liked in the local ultra running community."

Salmonson says Leathers was mentally strong and a very tough individual and what happened is very sad.

Leathers enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 11, 1998.

He reported to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One at Pearl Harbor on Aug. 24, 2004.

Leathers was awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

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