Sadly, this will be one of the articles that transcends collegiate athletics. The Navy Times is reporting that, for the first time, the name of a woman will be added the collection of fallen Virginia Tech Hokies engraved on the War Memorial Chapel. Such a somber event is never greeted with celebration as it represents the reality of another Hokie falling during the service of the United States.
After earning her degree in biochemistry Sarah Mitchell graduated from VPI in 2017 and was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy. ENS Mitchell was assigned to the Norfolk, VA based guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109). The destroyer is assigned to the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Strike Group and was operating in the Red Sea when ENS Mitchell was involved in a small-boat mishap that resulted in the injuries to which she eventually succumbed. Thankfully, no other casualties resulted from the incident.
Below are the official statements released from U.S. 5th Fleet regarding the incidents.
Ensign Sarah Mitchell was 23 years old and hailed from Feasterville, Pennsylvania. She attended Virginia Tech and earned her commission through the Corps of Cadets. Such a solemn event forces us to recall the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim. “That I May Serve” is a sentiment truly embodied by the service and sacrifice of ENS Mitchell.
We mourn Sarah’s passing while celebrating her life and service. We here at Gobbler Country wish to share our deepest sympathies with Sarah’s family, friends, and shipmates. Thank you for your service Ensign Mitchell. We have the watch.