Middle East

Indiana Soldier Among Helicopter Casualties

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December 19, 2013 — By Jerry Howard

The governor is mourning the loss of an Indiana soldier among the casualties of a helicopter crash defending the United States in Afghanistan.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence today shared his sentiments regarding the death of Hoosier soldier Staff Sergeant Jesse Lee Williams of Elkhart, after the U.S. Department of Defense announced his death during a mission in Afghanistan.

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Staff Sgt. Jesse Lee Williams, a heroic Hoosier who fell this week in the midst of his third deployment defending our freedom in Afghanistan.  Jesse Lee Williams is an American hero whose service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by the people of this state and nation.  On behalf of the First Lady and Hoosiers everywhere, I send our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, friends and all those mourning the loss of this exemplary Hoosier soldier.”

The U.S. Department of Defense today announced the deaths of six soldiers who died Tuesday supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Now Bahar, Afghanistan.  The DoD says they died of injuries suffered as a result of a helicopter crash, which is under investigation.

The defense department says 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams of Elkhart was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

His fellow service members who gave their lives in the nation’s defense include:

34-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings of Heavener, Okla.,

35-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman of Scottsdale, Ariz.,

29-year-old Sgt. Peter C. Bohler of Willow Spring, N.C.  They were assigned to the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

28-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde of Marietta, Ga., was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, and 22-year-old Spc. Terry K. D. Gordon of Shubuta, Miss., was assigned to 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.


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