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Who is Dusty Turner?

Dusty was born Dustin Alan Turner to Linda & Arch Turner on February 7, 1975. He was supposed to be born in January. He was almost a month late; he just wasn’t ready! (I certainly was; I was still a student at IU and I had gained 75 lbs with this pregnancy and I was very uncomfortable.) But when he came into this world, he was not only ready, he was eager to learn and rambunctious, he was very active and full of energy. He was nonstop at doing and learning things early. Some of that might have been trying to do things with his older brother, Matt. He was sitting up before he was 2 months old crawling at 6 months and walking at 8 ½ months. He loved going to Nursery School and being with other children.

His father and I divorced when he was a baby and when he was 2 he got a step father, Larry Summitt, and a step sister, Heather. Within no time the family also included two new baby brothers, Jason and Tyler. He was raised in the same house, where his mother lives today, with 3 brothers and a step sister. Grandparents, uncles, aunts along with loving cousins and extended family were a big part of his life.

Dusty could not wait to go to school; he used to sit up at the counter when his big brother Matt was doing homework and pretend he was also doing homework. His parents worked but also kept very involved in the lives of their children. When Dusty finally got to go to school, he was a good student and had many friends. He was very active all throughout his school years. He was involved in multiple sports, including cross country, baseball, basketball, football and swimming.

We attended a small Christian church, Clear Creek Christian Church, where Dusty became a Jr. Deacon and loved serving the congregation. He was also involved in scouts and absolutely loved all the aspects of camping and scouting, learning many skills. Later when his two younger brothers were in scouts he helped with their unit teaching the younger boys and helping them with their activities. He was and still is a good son, brother and family member.

By the time he was a junior in high school, Dusty had already made up his mind that he was going to join the Navy to become either a diver or a Navy SEAL. Several members of our family made the military their career. His Father and stepfather had both served in Vietnam, his uncles, Jack & Duane Baker were both paratroopers in the army . His great uncles and grandparent s had served in World War II and the Korean War. One uncle, Charles W Clark, was a Green Beret. Dusty’s older brother, Matt Turner had already joined the Navy and was at that time serving in Hawaii.

Basic training was conducted in Orlando, Florida. From there, Dustin went to “A” school in Pensacola, FL “A” school is a few weeks of specialized training for all Navy recruits. Dusty chose Photography. His drive and determination, throughout his younger years, paid off.

He applied for and was accepted into the very elite SEAL (SEA, AIR, LAND) Program. At the age of 18 ½, he was one of the youngest to ever be accepted into the Navy SEAL program.

-- Linda Summitt

 

DUSTY IN 1995/ LIFE AS A NAVY SEAL IN VIRGINIA (written by Dusty)

Dusty graduated BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training on December 16, 1994. He travelled back to his home in Bloomington, Indiana for Christmas. He and most of the 18 other men he graduated with were then ordered to Columbus, GA to go through Army Airborne School. After a short leave following "jump school", Dusty was given his first choice of which SEAL Team he wanted to be a part of: Team 4 in Virginia Beach, VA. On February 4, 1995, he officially checked in to his new duty station. It was 3 days before his 20th birthday, making Dusty the youngest SEAL Team member in the US Navy.

All new guys in the East Coast SEAL Teams must go through SEAL Tactical Training (S.T.T.) concurrently with a six-month probationary period before they don their Trident pin and become official SEALs. Prior to starting S.T.T., Dusty was ordered to Fort AP Hill in Bowling Green, VA to help facilitate the S.T.T. class already in session. Trained as a Combat Photographer he was also tasked with taking photos of various aspects of the training as well as aerial photos from helicopters.

Around April of 1995, Dusty and his S.T.T. class went to Puerto Rico for a month of advanced dive training. After returning to the states he resumed advanced small arms, demolition and field training at Fort AP Hill.

Additionally, Dusty was assigned to Echo Platoon, one of a dozen platoons that comprise SEAL Team 4. As Team 4 operates in Central and South America, Echo Platoon was gearing up for what would be Dusty's first deployment to Panama in August of 1995. In his off time he was getting extra qualifications so as to be a greater asset to his platoon.

Dusty was proud to have made it through the toughest military training in America and he was excited about his future with the SEALs. He had a few years of formal Spanish, as well as further learning in both Mexico and Puerto Rico, and he couldn't wait for his first deployment to Panama. He planned to try out for SEAL Team 6 after his second deployment, but that would be another year later.

Dusty and his swim-buddy, Billy Brown, had trained together for nearly one and a half years. As fate would have it, shortly after Dusty was injured during BUD/S training Billy was injured as well. They spent a couple months together in rehab before rejoining and later graduating in Class 196. They went to jump school together, were both assigned to Team 4, and even put in the same platoon. That fate of having Billy Brown as his assigned swim buddy was the disaster that has led to much heartache and sorrow.

 

Thank you for your interest in Dusty’s cause. If you would like to help him in his efforts to seek a pardon by Governor Ralph S. Northam, please click here.