Avalanche In Japan Takes The Life of A Colorado Veteran

Chris Wallner | | AvalancheAvalanche
Avalanche stock image. Image: Huffington Post

According to ABC 7, a Colorado army veteran lost his life in Japan on Monday after being buried by an avalanche. Mathew Healy was a navy civilian stationed in Okinawa, Japan. The Denver native was a physician’s assistant living in Okinawa with his wife that was stationed there for the navy. He was last seen at Happo-one ski resort on Monday. On Wednesday, search & rescue teams set out in the area to look for Mathew, but they were unable to find him. The crews were searching in terrain that was known for its high risk of avalanches. Search efforts have been suspended due to avalanche-danger and they will not resume until conditions improve.

Mathew Healy. Image: Scripps Media, Inc.

Announcement From Mathew’s GoFundMe Page:

Dear Family and Friends,

What began as the hardest night of my life has turned into the worst week of my life. After an exhaustive search, I am devastated to report that Mat will not be returning home at this time. The search and rescue teams have determined that he perished in an avalanche, and due to the extreme conditions, we will be unable to recover him until Japan’s long winter season has passed.

I am still in shock and cannot even comprehend this loss—my husband, my best friend, and amazing father to our kids. I cannot overstate my gratitude to all of you, our family and friends, for the amazing outpouring of love, support, and donations over the past 5 days. You have been the light that kept me going this week.

As the kids and I move forward into this new reality, I ask that you respect our family’s privacy. Please know that we are grateful for every single one of you, and we will be back in touch as soon as we are able to process this devastating loss.

Thank you so much.

With love,

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