In Norway, one of Ross’ close friends in the 261 squadron had an in depth conversation with him in the mission planning room. Ross told his fellow squadron friend that he thought Lana was to be the sole recipient of his Death Gratuity, SGLI, and all other benefits such as last pay and all paid leave he had. Ross said that one of the reasons he married Lana at the courthouse before he left was in case anything happened, Lana would be able to manage their house, car and loan debt. He definitely thought that Lana would be receiving everything as his wife.
Ross had enrolled Lana as his spouse in the military DEERS system prior to leaving for Norway for this purpose. Unfortunately, Ross was unaware that additional military paperwork needed to be updated accordingly. He didn't update his SGLI and death gratuity because he thought that once he got married everything automatically went to his spouse. He was under the assumption that getting married gave everything to Lana and that he didn't need to re-update it unless he wanted to designate certain amounts/percentages to others as well. Ross and this squadron friend had this specific conversation. The entire time, he thought and still wants Lana his wife to get everything: SGLI, death gratuity, last paycheck, and accrued paid leave. 3/18/22:
Tragically, Captain Ross "ALF" Reynolds and three fellow Marines died on March 18th of this year in Norway on a NATO training exercise when their MV-22B Osprey crashed during a flight up to Bodo, Norway.
FOR stands for Friends Of Ross, of which there are many.
ALF is Ross’s call sign. For those of us not in his squadron, VMM-261, it stands for Awesome Little Friend (or A Little Fugly, A Literal Frodo, etc.).
This GoFundMe is FOR ALF.
Purpose: To establish a grassroots Service Group Life Insurance (SGLI) for Ross’s wife, Lana. This fund will act as an SGLI for Lana and is meant to cover their debt and offer Lana the ability to deal with this loss without the burden of house, car, and school loans in addition to other debt.
Why: Lana was not designated as the recipient of SGLI (nor the death gratuity provided by the military). Ross intended to make his wife the SGLI recipient, but there was not enough time between their marriage and his deployment to Norway to designate her as such. SGLI and Death Gratuity are lump-sum payments intended to help assist beneficiaries with immediate living expenses.
As Ross’ Father-In-Law, I am trying to do what I feel he would want me to do. If you are moved by Ross’s story below (or if you already know the story and are a Friend Of Ross), let your heart lead you to donate to this GoFundMe. I know everyone would give Lana the one thing we all want, which is Ross. Unfortunately, we cannot. Many of you have asked, “what can I do?” Now you have an opportunity.
About Ross and Lana: A 27-year-old Leominster, Massachusetts native, Ross Reynolds has a great legacy. He was an Eagle Scout, student-athlete in high school, NROTC recipient at Worcester State. He was a servant-leader at scout camp, in NROTC and in the Marines. Lana was introduced to Ross four years ago in Washington, DC while Ross was attending a Marine Corps school called The Basic School (TBS). She had asked a friend to introduce her to “a good Marine.” They were instantly a great couple, and Ross was smiling his best when he was with Lana! The only other smiles that came close were when he was flying!
Ross and Lana continued to date as Ross completed Flight School in Florida and Texas and finally as he joined Marine Osprey Squadron VMM-261 in North Carolina. Ross and Lana were married on February 9th of this year in a small intimate ceremony. He deployed shortly after to Norway on the 13th and tragically lost his earthly life along with 3 other Marines on Friday, March 18th, while conducting a training mission near Bobo, Norway.
Ross had many friends from Leominster, Scouts, Camp Wanocksett, NROTC, and the Marines. These became Lana’s friends as well. A man can be defined by his friends, and Ross and Lana have many great friends. I have been privileged to meet a few of them as well and now know how incredible a son-in-law I have! This GoFundMe is to fulfill what I feel he would want. I know the Friends Of Ross feel the same.
What is SGLI? It is life insurance offered by the VA through Prudential Insurance Company to military service members and their families that augments the inherently dangerous jobs that they subject themselves to in their day to day duties.
What is Death Gratuity? Death Gratuity is a lump-sum payment intended to help assist beneficiaries with immediate living expenses.
This GoFundMe is approved by Lana Reynolds, Captain Ross Reynold’s wife.