19-Year-Old Navy Sailor From Waterbury Drowns In Guam

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A former Waterbury student and star athlete died in Guam over the weekend where he was stationed with the Navy.

R-Jay Domondon was just 19-years-old. He was serving our country as a Navy Sailor, but before that he was a student at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury. He graduated at the top of his class in 2012 and was a member of the National Honor Society.

His impact went from the classroom to the athletic field.

“Anything he participated in school was bettered because he was a part of it,” said assistant athletic director at Sacred Heart, Mike Madden. “Winning personality, someone that you would want to be friends with or part of your family, a real pleasure to have in the classroom.”

Sunday, R-Jay Domondon drowned while spear fishing in Guam. His body wasn’t found until the next day.

He joined the Navy after graduation and was fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a Navy Seal.

“This young man was a dedicated, personable and highly motivated Sailor,” said Cmdr. Gregory Leland, HSC-25 commanding officer. “Always willing to go the extra step to assist others, he earned the immediate respect of every Sailor he came in contact with. He was a courageous young man who embodied living life to its fullest and enjoyed working out, playing sports and traveling.”

Paul Pernerewski Jr., Board of Alderman President said his death is a tragedy for the community.

“R-Jay was a very good sailor by all accounts, he had risen to the ranks of Petty Officer, he was doing a great job for his country,” said Pernerewski. “Our hearts go out to his family, we send them our deepest sympathy and condolences.”

Domondon was well known at Sacred Heart High School. To remember their friend at Tuesday’s swim meet, the team honored him in a special way.

“They had all drawn the R and the J somewhere on the chest or arm, to kind of commemorate him while they were swimming,” said Madden.

Principal Anthony Azzara said, “It’s a tragic thing to happen, R-Jay Domondon was a great student, great athlete and overall a great kid.

His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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