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Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan Kills Two U.S. Soldiers

Capt. John R. Brainard III and wife Emily
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Above: Capt. John R. Brainard III and wife Emily

The Department of Defense has identified the two American soldiers killed Memorial Day when their helicopter crashed in Kabul, Afghanistan. They were Capt. John R. Brainard III, 26, of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; and Chief Warrant Officer Five John C. Pratt, 51, of Springfield, Virginia.

Brainard and Pratt were assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, which is based in Germany.

According to the Stars and Stripes, the crash of the AH-64D Longbow Apache is under investigation.

The Kennebec Journal reports Brainard had graduated from the University of Maine with honors, and joined the Army four years ago. He leaves behind a wife, Emily, and parents John Brainard and Susie Phelps.

Darryl Lyon, ROTC officer at the University of Maine, said of Brainard:

"He was a pretty accomplished young man, very well spoken, a Christian kid. He was one of the best . . . Maine lost a good one there. That’s going to hurt.”

According to the Stars and Stripes, Pratt had been in the Army for more than 20 years. He leaves behind a wife, Nicola, and daughter, Emma. He is also survived by his parents, John D. and Josephine Pratt.

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