Man of God, husband, father, son, brother, friend and Marine...

On the night of January 14, while flying a training mission off the north shore of Hawaii, Shawn paid the highest price serving his country and all those who value freedom. This page tells our story for him...

Posted by Mike West on September 2, 2019
On this anniversary of Shawn's birth, I'm drawn to remember him in ministry action down in Pensacola... On occasional Tun Tavern Fellowship ministry visits from Quantico to Pensacola, Shawn would graciously invite me into a regular Sat morning breakfast fellowship routine he had with flight school Marine Lts... often at the Village Inn in Pace just off Hwy 90.  Blessed now as then to remember Shawn's faithfulness to invest time and God's Word in the next generation.
Posted by Mike West on September 2, 2018
We miss you, Shawn, on this day that would have been your 44th birthday celebration ... but we take joy in knowing that in your glorified body, you beat us all into God’s presence and are awaiting your family and friends there! We thank God for your life of service and the wonderful family you left temporarily behind.
Posted by glynda Lane on January 17, 2018
We love you beautiful niece Kelli and children. Shawn's spirit lives on!
Posted by David Cole on January 18, 2017
Thank you for your service, sir. We will remember you long after comrades "...softly call the muster..."
Semper Fi and Gig 'em!
Posted by Mike West on September 2, 2016
On this, the anniversary of God bringing you into this world, Shawn... we remember how well you stewarded the many gifts our good Lord gave you...and we miss you, Brother!  We are thankful to our common Lord ...with whom you blessedly live... that you loved Kelli so well and provided her with such a great fire team of children to bless and comfort her in your too early absence!  We miss you, Marine!
Posted by Shawn Capps on April 29, 2016
April, 15, 2016

I first met my friend Shawn Campbell in June of 2000. We were both rushing the United States Marine Corps as potential Officers during the ten-week Officer Candidate School (OCS) course in Quantico, VA. During this period of his life he wore the last name of Bartle. Candidate Bartle and I would get to know each other through the course of OCS and the nightly bible studies that we shared while sitting on our racks. Our racks were simple, metal bunk beds and our rack mates were assigned by last name. Throughout the course of OCS the Candidates that were alphabetically between Shawn and I would go home for various reasons until one night I remember Shawn becoming my rack mate.
Right about the same time one Sunday afternoon I found myself sitting alone with Shawn at a picnic table overlooking the Potomac River in old town Quantico. During our one day off during the long days and short weeks of OCS, Shawn made it a point to define our friendship. The question he used to define our friendship came out in his own brand of Texas draw, “Do you consider yourself a Christian?” My response was not as well thought out and not as mature as we were both expecting. That very short and a little uncomfortable conversation defined a friendship that is difficult to explain to anyone not inside the strange world of the US Marines and specifically Marine Aviation. Our world is one that prides itself on maintaining tight friendships without actually being co-located with those you hold so dear. Shawn decided to make our friendship not only based on the legendary connection normally associated with a fellow Marine, but the connection of a fellow Christian.
After OCS we both returned to college. Shawn married Kelli and we both started the rest of our lives. In November 2001, I returned to Quantico, VA to attend The Basic School (TBS). As I walked around base looking for Marines that I recognized, I heard that same strange Texas draw, “Hey Shawn” and of course my reply, “Hey Shawn.” As luck would have it we were going to be in the same Company during the next six months of TBS. This was exactly the kind of connection that you pray for during strange new social situations. Come to find out, not only were we going to be in the same Company of about 200 Marines, but the same Platoon of 40. The same squad of 12, the same fire team of 4 and the same battle buddy of 2.
While at TBS we stood next to each other for nearly every training day. After a long week in the field, Shawn invited me back to his apartment where Kelli had made dinner. This invitation allowed me into a foreign world, Shawn and Kelli’s sanctuary from TBS. During rigorous training like TBS, families develop strong walls to protect some semblance of normal very carefully. They are normally heavily guarded and rarely opened to outsiders. That evening with Shawn, Kelli, and Ben Beach I enjoyed one of the best meals I have ever eaten in my life: Pasta shells, stuffed with Ricotta cheese and red sauce, with garlic bread. We watched, “What About Bob?” and I fell asleep on the couch, completely spent.
After TBS, Shawn went directly to Pensacola for flight training. I took leave to get married to my wife, Elaine, back home in Indiana. When we caught up with Shawn and Kelli in Florida, he was quick to show me how to study for API. There were a lot of flash cards and coffee. He graduated API a month or so before me and went to Corpus Christie, TX for primary flight training. I followed him as soon as I could. As we began flight training in VT-27 together, Shawn was the one who taught me to preflight the T-34C Turbo Mentor, strap in, and start knocking out checklists.
As we completed Primary flight training, our paths began to go in different directions. Shawn returned to Pensacola to fly helicopters, I stayed in TX to fly jets. The funny thing was Shawn wanted to fly jets and I actually would have preferred helicopters.
For the next four years we saw each other briefly when we would happen to find ourselves in the same city. 
That ended in May 2006 when my son Brady was still born at 34 weeks. Elaine and I were stationed across the country in Whidbey Island, WA and we were crushed. We made plans to bury him back home in Indiana. As we were struggling to make the final preparations for Brady’s funeral, my family got word from Shawn and Kelli that they would like to drive up for the service. I remember seeing the old Subaru Outback rolling into my aunt’s driveway. Shawn, Kelli, and a two year old Tristan came out and were quick with the hugs. I am told that Shawn and I went for a run during that visit, but I don’t recall a lot of detail during those trying days. I do remember the feelings though. The warm, security of a friendly hug and the great feeling of honor that one of my friends would make the effort required to drive hundreds of miles with a toddler to “just be there”.
The next time we were together was the following year in North Carolina. Shawn and Kelli offered their spare room to us as we were looking for housing and we were grateful. Within a day or so of arriving in North Carolina, baby Kenna was born. During the next three weeks we were proud to “just be there” for Shawn, Kelli, Tristan, and Kenna.
Two years later and a lot of Marine Corps miles, I found myself on my second deployment to Al Asad, Iraq and it was about month three of a six month deployment. The middle of a deployment, for me, is always the hardest. The days are no longer new or different and you’re too far out to start counting the days until you get to go home. As I walked into the ready room one morning I had a message to call Captain Shawn Campbell. Shawn was on his Forward Air Controller (FAC) tour and he wanted to meet up with me to have lunch. After lunch we walked around the EA-6B Prowler, posed for a quick photo and generally just enjoyed each other’s company. Even now I struggle to find the words to describe how much is gained by having a visit from an old friend during deployment. Huge.
The last time I saw Shawn was at an Olive Garden in Jacksonville, NC in June 2014. He had just returned to the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) at MCAS New River to complete his refresher training in the CH-53E. We had lunch again, posed for a photo, and talked a lot about the stories I have mentioned, and a few that I didn’t. WE talked about our growing families, our Marine Corps careers, and where were going next. 
As I drove home from MCAS Cherry Point of Friday January 15th, I had just returned from a three week training detachment to NAS Key West. I wanted to see my wife and kids hug them, have dinner, and read bed time stories. As I turned on the radio, NPR mentioned that two CH-53E’s had crashed Thursday night in Hawaii. I knew immediately.
The strange thing is that nearly every day since then, I have seen Shawn’s imprint on my life. The first example was that Friday night when I unpacked my sea bag. I realized that nearly ten years earlier, in the garage in Richlands, NC, Shawn had taught me how to use an iso-mat to keep the shape of the bag just right and protect your stuff inside. At church just a few weeks ago the pastor asked, “What do you think Heaven looks like?” My first thought was, I don’t know, but I know my friend Shawn has been there before me, he has held my son Brady, and he is taking good notes for me, just like before.

While we were in Hawaii for HMH-463’s memorial service for Pegasus 31 and Pegasus 32. I found myself running into family and friends of Shawn and Kelli and we kept saying something like, “Man, you look really familiar”, we would spend the next few minutes trying to figure out if we had met before and usually we would realize that we had not. That was a strange feeling for me.
As I was flying back home afterwards and I was able to reflect on our trip to Hawaii, I began to try to figure out why everyone seemed familiar. What I came up with was that we were seeing Shawn in each other, or maybe we were seeing the Christ that Shawn trusted and represented in each other.

 Semper Fidelis,

The finest and purest sheep have always held the burden and have been the first to be sacrificed for our benefit.
Posted by Christy Kaiser on April 2, 2016
Shawn and Kelli have always had a heart to minister in the military. They faithfully, prayerfully, and financially supported a ministry called Tun Tavern Fellowship: A network of Christians serving God in the Marine Corps. Because of this accident, Tun Tavern Fellowship has felt called to start a fund titled "Deuteronomy 10:18 fund." 

Deuteronomy 10:18 "The Lord executes justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing." Tun Tavern Fellowship serves Marines, and one of the way they can serve those Marines is by caring for the families of the fallen.

Kelli, Tristan, Kenna, Kate, and Donovan Campbell have lost an amazing husband and father. Yet through this loss, they have discovered the extent to which God can provide His love in abundance. He will not abandon them but will continue to honor their father’s sacrifice by caring for the children he left too soon.

If you would like to help uphold their cause, you may send your tax deductible contribution to:

Tun Tavern Fellowship:
Follow the link to: “The Deuteronomy 10:18 Fund” page
This page provides a link: To the E-giving website
Once on the E-giving page, scroll down to make your donation under Crossroads Presbyterian (Tun Tavern Fellowship) Deuternomy 10:18 fund

In loving memory of Shawn Campbell
Posted by Mike West on March 29, 2016
I am so thankful for Shawn's partnering, leadership, and often wise counsel as a managing member of two of the Tun Tavern Inns. I am also very thankful for his ministry leadership in Pensacola as he met with young Marine Lts/student naval aviators on Saturday mornings for breakfast, mentoring, encouragement, and bible study ... He often brought Trystan along on many of these...exposing and modeling to his eldest son what a commitment to God's word and helping others grow "looked like".  ... With love from the full Tun Tavern Fellowship family
Posted by Donna Borg on March 28, 2016
I'm grateful for Shawn's spirit and service to Harvest PCA Church.

With love for Shawn's family, Donna

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Mike West on September 2, 2019
On this anniversary of Shawn's birth, I'm drawn to remember him in ministry action down in Pensacola... On occasional Tun Tavern Fellowship ministry visits from Quantico to Pensacola, Shawn would graciously invite me into a regular Sat morning breakfast fellowship routine he had with flight school Marine Lts... often at the Village Inn in Pace just off Hwy 90.  Blessed now as then to remember Shawn's faithfulness to invest time and God's Word in the next generation.
Posted by Mike West on September 2, 2018
We miss you, Shawn, on this day that would have been your 44th birthday celebration ... but we take joy in knowing that in your glorified body, you beat us all into God’s presence and are awaiting your family and friends there! We thank God for your life of service and the wonderful family you left temporarily behind.
Posted by glynda Lane on January 17, 2018
We love you beautiful niece Kelli and children. Shawn's spirit lives on!
Recent stories
Shared by Kelly Anderson on April 22, 2016

As a military family, My wife Kelly and I have learned that "arranged friendships" are often among the closest friendships. The spring after my family moved to Florida Kelly received a call from one of her closest friends, Christy. "Kelly, there's another Marine family moving to Florida and you HAVE to be friends with them! They have kids your age and they homeschool!" Not long after that the Campbell's moved in - on our street, no less - and we hit it off immediately.

The first things you noticed when you met Shawn were his kind eyes and big smile. It was instantly clear this guy loved to laugh! (What I didn't find out until later was how much he liked the cheesy humor of the SciFi network...) After praying with me for months about the decision whether or not to resign from the Marine Corps and join the Coast Guard, he and Kelli came to my "resignation party." While I have many memories of that night, Shawn's gift stands out above them all. He brought a giant orange tote full of "what you'll need in the Coast Guard." The necessities included things like a rubber duckie and kids inflatable arm floaties. He loved to laugh!

But Shawn wasn't all fun and games. He was serious about his discipleship. He and our mutual friend Mark spearheaded a Saturday morning accountability group. We would meet at Waffle House long before our kids were up. Shawn would always ask us to pray that the Lord would strengthen him as a husband and a father. When the other three of us got in our cars to head home, Shawn would go across the street to the Village Inn to disciple a group of young Marine flight students. These were the same Marines for whom he worked so tirelessly with the Tun Tavern Fellowship to purchase and prepare a local house which continues to serve as a place where Marine flight students can live together in Christian fellowship.

Shawn was a special man and great friend. Throughout my time grieving his loss in Hawaii and meeting friends from several different stages of his life, I was constantly reminded that my time with him was short but representative of the impact he has made on so many lives. He has left a legacy of Christian discipleship with an entire generation of young Marines, deep friendships in every place he lived and take one look at his kids and you see that he has left the four of them with those kind, laughing eyes.

Tristan, Kenna, Kate and Donovan - your father was a very special man. He served our nation with great honor and distinction. He led and mentored young Marines. He left this world doing what he loved but far more than the Marine Corps, or even flying, he loved being a father to each of you. He loved the Lord his God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and I know he prayed that the four of you would always do the same.

Kelli - these are the thoughts I would have shared with you in Hawaii if I had been able to put them into words. I know how deeply Shawn loved you. I know he would love you even more for the strength and dignity you have shown the last three months. We grieve with you even as we trust alongside you in our resurrected Lord whom Shawn now knows more intimately than we can fathom.

We will always love you, Campbell family.

Lars (for Kelly, Bengt, Hannah, Annika and Linnea)

An image

Shared by Nathan Day on April 17, 2016

During a visit with Shawn and Kelli years ago an image of Shawn was etched into my mind. The image since has grown to mean so much more these last couple of months. I was still in college, not sure what year exactly but I got to visit Shawn and Kelli at their place some several states away along with my parents. In this image I'm looking just over Shawn's right shoulder. Shawn's kneeling and leaning over talking to a tiny 2 year old Tristan who’s looking down and to the left towards his dad. T had just gotten in trouble and as you'd expect to see, a parent close by to scold and redirect. It's a scene replayed time and time again in any household. However this was different. There was something much different about the way Shawn spoke and moved. I've seen compassionate, patient, loving father's before but I remember freezing where I was in that moment watching Shawn so carefully and gently discussing with T what is and isn't right. Shawn would go on for at least 5 minutes with little impressionable T soaking it all up. That image followed me from that day. There would be many other opportunities that I got to witness how Shawn would quietly and calmly pull his kids aside to discuss their actions and attitudes for what I always thought was hours. Always deeply impressed at Shawn’s ability to stay calm no matter the situation. Once married I spoke about Shawn’s gentle nature to my wife. Something I wanted to emulate. When we’d get the chance to be with them or they with us I’d always mention how I looked forward to seeing again first-hand how Shawn loved his family. Such a good husband to my sister. Such a loving dad to my nieces and nephews. Prior to that Friday morning in January the image of Shawn and Tristan would reappear at the times that I’d be briskly walking up the stairs to my son's room ready to deliver a good hard speech. In that moment I’d try to remind myself to be more like Shawn. Some days that image popped up into my mind more often than others… I always seemed to fail and never measure up to what Shawn did so naturally. I’m not sure I’ve told anyone about this image of Shawn but my wife. There was never any need. Maybe it even sounded weird when I’d try to put it into words. It was only after that morning and having to wait through those hard, painful days after that I questioned why God would allow that image of Shawn and T to follow me like it had. I’ll be forever thankful that He stopped me in that moment years ago to impress upon me that image. I know his kids will remember their gentle and loving Father but I do want them to also know that I too will remember their gentle and loving father as just that. 

Thankful for God's Providence & Timing

Shared by Brian Ulrich on March 30, 2016

Our family of 6 was lucky enough to spend almost every waking minute with Shawn and his family in Hawaii for two weeks, with us departing back to the mainland Tuesday before his death.  I'm thankful for so many things - namely the kindness and providence of God to allow us to spend such rich time with Shawn, Kelli, and the kiddos just days before He called him home that dark Thursday night.  

I think fondly of the 5K runs that Shawn and I took around the neighborhood there in Kailua.  And him guilting me into doing "ammo can lifts" in the backyard (I hid my shoulder pain the next few days).  I entered the lottery for the 41st running of the Marine Corps Marathon later this year, and I find out tomorrow if I can run it in Washington DC.  That just seemed like the right thing to do.

I'm thankful we took the opportunity to golf at the beautiful Kaneohe Klipper Course there on on base.  Shawn sinking a 40-50 foot chip from off the green and loudly rejoicing for all to hear....just minutes after making a similar shot goofing around with a second ball in his pocket on the prior hole!

But perhaps the fondest memories I have of my time in Hawaii were the hours in the truck, driving the "man car" around Oahu from one family excursion to the next (the women were in the minivan).  We talked about the future, God, raising kids, loving our wives, and what it might be like to have our families live in the same area in Spokane when he retired from the Marine Corps.  His humility, selflessness, and love for his family and His Savior will always stick with me.  I'm thankful I had the chance to take him to work at the hangar Monday morning before the accident and drop him off at work.  And that last conversation that lingered on Tuesday morning before we left Hawaii.  I remember thinking to myself "I wonder when we'll see each other again".....and now I know it will be in the presence of the King when there are no more tears, death has been defeated finally, and time itself is a thing of the past.  The weight of glory is now stronger in me due to Shawn, while he himself no longer looks through the mirror dimly.