WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The search for the body of a missing Marine and Wichita native, Nathan Ordway, may be over. Ordway was aboard the USS Osprey with 25 other soldiers when the aircraft crashed off the coast of Australia. Ordway was one of three soldiers lost at sea.
The crash made headlines after the Marine Corps Osprey aircraft attempted to land at sea, crashed and left three of the 26 soldiers aboard lost. After 24 hours of looking for the Marines, the search was changed to recovery. Ordway’s mother, Kat Ordway, spoke to KSN Wednesday. She said her reason for speaking out was simple, to honor her son’s life.
“He gave the best hugs,” said Ordway. “I want them to remember the funny, smiling, goofy, not afraid to have fun guy.”
This feeling was echoed by Ordway’s JRTOC instructor, Eric Yeager.
“Nathan always had a smile on his face,” said Yeager. “He’s one of them kids that know when to play and know when to work.”
To the world, Nathan was a man serving his country but to his mother, it was different.
“He was just such a loving, sensitive, good man; hard for me to think of him as a man because he’s still my baby,” said Ordway’s mother. “I always want to call him a boy but he was a man.”
Kat said her son took after his father who served and fought in Desert Storm. The history of service and sacrifice brought one Wichita woman to Kat’s home, to pass on a piece of her own history.
“This quilt was given to me when my husband passed away,” said Margaret Blasi. “I felt like if I found someone that I thought was deserving, I was going to give it to them.”
Nathan’s mother left a message to her son’s fellow Marines.
“I just want them to know that I love them and I care about them and I need them to be safe and not ever ever ever have survivors guilt.”