Monday, April 29, 2013
Army Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, and 1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, were killed on April 23 in Afghanistan by a missile attack, according to the Department of Defense.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum in New York.
Blanchard, an Apache pilot, was originally from Selah, Washington. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. According to KIMA-TV, he was deployed twice to Afghanistan as a member of the Marine Corps. After leaving the Marines, he joined the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps and graduated from Central Washington University.
Army 1st Lt. Robert J. Hess grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. He was a Black Hawk pilot, according to a Fort Drum news release.
The Washington Post reports Hess's father, Army. Col. Robert Hess, was also a Black Hawk pilot. In addition to his father, the younger Hess is survived by his mother and brother. The Hess family said in a statement:
“He was a natural leader and great officer. He loved the Army. He got to die living his dream.”