Dordt mourns the passing of alumnus Seth Vande Kamp
- Posted Friday, November 20, 2020
On Thursday, November 12, Captain Seth Vande Kamp (’11) was one of five American peacekeepers killed in a helicopter crash at Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It is believed that a mechanical failure caused the crash.
The trip was part of an international force that monitors the Israeli and Egyptian peace agreements, and Seth was assigned to Task Force Sinai’s medical company. The trip to Egypt was Seth’s first overseas assignment.
With a wry smile and an easygoing sense of humor, Seth was loving, gentle, and supportive, says Donald Roth (’07), Seth's brother-in-law and an associate professor of criminal justice at Dordt. “He was the kind of person who was up for anything and would stick by his friends through whatever came our way.”
While studying at Dordt University, Seth majored in biology. Earning a minor in Dutch, he spent a semester in Zwolle, Netherlands, as part of the Studies Program in Contemporary Europe (SPICE). He later earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri, and he also joined the U.S. Army.
“Seth became a doctor because it was his calling,” says Roth. “He loved science, and he loved to help people. God gifted him with talents and a disposition that served him well in this calling. Seth joined the army because it also fit naturally with his love for adventure and new experiences, providing him both a means to pursue his calling and a venue for doing so.”
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Seth Vande Kamp,” says Dr. Erik Hoekstra, president of Dordt University. “We pray that the Lord will comfort Seth’s family as they mourn this sudden loss.”
According to a Stars and Stripes article, a total of seven international peacekeepers, including a French air force officer and a Czech soldier, were killed when the UH-60 Black Hawk they were traveling in crashed near the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. One survivor was medically evacuated. Established in 1981, the Multinational Force and Observers is a multinational peacekeeping mission supervising the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace.
Seth is survived by his parents, two siblings and their spouses, nieces and nephews, and many friends.
“In ways large and small, God has repeatedly shown us signs that he moves even in this tragedy. It doesn’t take the deep sorrow away, but we find true comfort in clear signs that we are never outside of his providence,” says Roth.