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U. S. Army Group Burial
Iraq Helicopter Crash, 22 August 2007
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1039-07
August 23, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 14 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died August 22, 2007, in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed.

Killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington:

Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Georgia.
 Chief Warrant Officer Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina
 Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California
 Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri

Also killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii:

Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, Califprnia
 Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas
 Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts
 Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois
 Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, 20, of Mentor, Ohio
 Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California
 Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania
 Specialist Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri
 Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, 20, of Lincoln, Arkansas

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

For more information related to the deaths of Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell, the media may contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152, (253) 967-0147 or after hours at (253) 967-0015 (ask for the Public Affairs Officer on call).

For more information related to the deaths of Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman, the media may contact the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 656-3159 or (808) 656-3157.



Group Burial Funeral Services: Friday, 24 October 2008: Arlington National Cemetery
RICKEY L BELL, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JEREMY P BOUFFARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PHILLIP BRODNICK, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
DEREK A DOBOGAI, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PAUL J FLYNN, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JOSHUA C HARMON, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MICHAEL A HOOK, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
NATHAN A HUBBARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
GARRETT I MCLEAD, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JASON L PATON, Staff Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JESSY G POLLARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
TYLER R SEIDEMAN, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MATTHEW L TALLMAN, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
CORRY TYLER, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
Honoring Fallen 14 With 'Quiet Strength'

By Mark Berman
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Four Black Hawk helicopters skimmed overhead against the backdrop of a gray, cloudy sky. Below, more than 150 people brought together by tragedy and united in grief gathered yesterday to pay tribute to 14 soldiers honored at Arlington National Cemetery.

The soldiers were killed August 22, 2007, in a helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq. Each had been buried separately. But 14 months after the accident, which was caused by mechanical failure, family and friends bundled together on a chilly October morning for a group tribute.

The mourners followed a horse-drawn caisson bearing a single flag-cloaked silver coffin up Bradley Drive. The coffin was carried to Section 60 of the cemetery and placed amid a bevy of red, white and blue flowers.

As part of the service, folded flags were given to parents and siblings, widows and a best friend. Each flag was touched for a moment to the coffin before being handed to the loved ones of the fallen soldiers.

The soldiers were between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. They hailed from 11 states, spanning from California to Massachusetts.

Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Woodbine, Georgia, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 and had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2006. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina, was a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with a decade of service.

The eldest soldier, Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California, was a tall, easygoing man and a devoted father, family members told the Los Angeles Times.

The youngest soldiers were Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, of Mentor, Ohio, and Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, of Lincoln, Arkansas, both 20. Harmon, a medic, had married his wife, Kristin, 84 days before his death, she told the News-Herald in Ohio. Seideman, who loved to joke, was a generous person who would "give you the shirt off his back if you needed it," said his best friend, Jeremy Bolivear, at a memorial service honoring the soldier, according to the Morning News in Arkansas.

Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri, joined the military in 2005 after graduating from high school.

Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was selfless, kind and too modest to boast about his accomplishments, his family said in a statement last year. "Therefore, we will honor him with quiet strength," relatives said.

Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, California, was to be married November 18, 2007, family members told the Los Angeles Times. He had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before, and his second deployment to Iraq was scheduled to end three weeks after the helicopter crash.

Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas, liked surfing, skateboarding and playing soccer. He enlisted shortly after his birthday in May 2002 because of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Rockport Pilot.

Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts, was a jokester and a loyal, dedicated man who loved his wife Amanda, son Caleb and the Boston Red Sox. Nearly 1,000 mourners attended his funeral last year, according to the Boston Globe.

Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois, was "the life of the party," a friend wrote on the guest book of a Web site dedicated to his memory.

Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California, was one of three brothers serving in Iraq. Marine Lance Corporal Jared Hubbard was killed in 2004, so Nathan and Jason Hubbard enlisted to honor their brother's sacrifice. Jason Hubbard was in the same platoon as Nathan and in a helicopter ordered to secure the crash site, according to CNN.

Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, was excited to come home because his fiancee, Susan Fetterman, was pregnant, according to the Altoona Mirror. Mere weeks after the crash, she gave birth to their son, Mason.

Corporal Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri, embraced and believed in what he was doing and would tell family members about jumping out of planes at night, they told the Associated Press.

Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Yesterday's burial brought to 447 the number of Iraq war casualties buried, memorialized or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery.



At Arlington, somber rite for fallen warriors
10 of 14 killed in 2007 Iraq helicopter crash were from Schofield
 By William Cole
Courtesy of The Honululu Advertiser

The pain that came last year with the burial of 14 sons killed in Iraq 10 of them from Schofield Barracks was felt anew Friday as additional, recently recovered remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The 10 Schofield soldiers and four helicopter crew members were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed on August 22, 2007, during a nighttime mission in Multaka, Iraq.

It was the single greatest loss for the 25th Infantry Division since the Vietnam War.

The military honors Friday included a helicopter flyover, a single casket with the commingled remains on a horse-drawn caisson, taps, a rifle salute and presentation of a folded American flag to each family.

"It was probably just every bit as hard as it was 14 months ago," said Larry Hook, whose son, Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, was buried in the soldier's hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The Army did not identify which soldiers the remains were from. Larry Hook said a single marker, larger than the others in Section 60 at Arlington, will bear all 14 names.

The 10 Schofield soldiers were scouts with the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, while the helicopter crew was out of Fort Lewis, Washington.

Larry Hook, who lives in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, said Michael never got to see his son, Mason, who was born a little more than a month after he was killed.

At the ceremony, the toddler was bundled against the cold and sat on the lap of his mother, Suzie Fetterman, as she clutched the folded flag.

It's not unheard of for the military to recover additional remains from war and seek to return them to family.

In January, Leilehua High School graduate and Schofield Barracks soldier Sergeant Alexander Gagalac was reburied at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific after the family was notified that additional remains had been found.

Gagalac, 28, had been killed September 9, 2007, in Iraq.

Kim Bilbrey, whose son, Staff Sergeant Jason Paton, 25, also was killed in the helicopter crash, said, "You can imagine, it (Friday's ceremony) brought up a lot of the emotion again.

"It wasn't as personal as your own child's (burial), one-on-one," said the California woman. "However, it was just heartfelt knowing that they (other families) were going through the same thing that I was going through."

All the families met with President Bush on Thursday in the Oval Office.

The Altoona (Pennsylania) Mirror newspaper reported that Bush broke down when he saw 1-year-old Mason Hook.

"He was a fabulous man. He was very emotional. He cried. He was just very down to earth," Bilbrey said of the meeting.

An Army investigation found that an "unknown foreign object" in the helicopter's tail rotor housing had traveled aft, became lodged, and gouged through the tail rotor drive shaft, causing the chopper to plummet to the ground from a height of 150 feet.

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
 A U.S. Army honor guard carry the casket for a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, Oct. 24, 2008. 
The group burial was for 14 soldiers who were killed August 22, 2007, when their helicopter crashed in Multaka, northern Iraq

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
Soldiers carry a coffin at a ceremony honoring 14 soldiers who were killed in a helicopter crash last year in Iraq.

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
Mary Ann and Larry Hook comfort Susan Fetterman, Specialist Michael A. Hook's fiancee.

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
U.S. Army honor guards hold 14 flags for a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, October 24, 2008. 
The group burial was for 14 soldiers who were killed August 22, 2007, when their helicopter crashed in Multaka, northern Iraq

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
U.S. Army honor guards hold 14 flags during a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, October 24, 2008

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
Janice Bell, right, seated next to Paula and Amanda Bouffard, left and center, during the group burial service 
at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, October 24, 2008

Army Group Burial At Arlington National Cemetery: 24 October 2008 PHOTO
Suzie Fetterman, holds her one-year-old son Mason Hook during the group burial service for her fiancee, 
Specialist Michael Hook, at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, October 24, 2008

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 25 October 2008 Updated: 28 October 2008