DENVER (CBS4) – The co-pilot of that helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan is from Colorado. He was one of 30 U.S. service members killed Saturday when the copter was shot down.
The helicopter crashed in Wardak Province west of Kabul. The military retrieved the bodies over the weekend. The military has asked the media not announce the name of the Colorado victim just yet.
“The co-pilot of that Chinook helicopter was a Colorado Army National Guard pilot,” Cpt. Darin Overstreet with the Colorado Army National Guard said.
The Chinook helicopter was apparently shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade while rushing to assist Army Rangers attacking a Taliban compound. Thirty U.S. service members were killed, including 22 Navy Seals and an Army chief warrant officer from Colorado-based out of Buckley Air Force Base.
Overstreet said he knew the officer well.
“Puts a lump in my throat just thinking about what his family is going through,” Overstreet said. “Our unit won’t be the same.”
Overstreet says the downed pilot had been in his unit about 10 years and had the respect and admiration of all who knew him.
“Not only did he know his craft inside and out, but he was a stand up guy. Just a great individual,” he said. “It’s a big loss; definitely someone Colorado and America can be proud of having served their country.”
Cindy Dietz is the mother of Navy Seal Danny Dietz.
“It aches my heart for the loss of the Colorado family,” she said.
Cindy Dietz’s son died in Afghanistan in 2006. She said her heart broke when she heard about the crash. She sends her thoughts and prayers to the latest families whose lives have changed forever defending Americans’ freedom.
“I send my love and I send my sympathy. I’m here for all you families. I stand proud in honor of my sons and your sons,” Cindy Dietz said.