YAKIMA (AP) — The mother of a Fort Drum Army helicopter pilot who grew up in Washington says he was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan.
Laura Schactler of Selah told the Yakima Herald-Republic that 32-year-old Aaron Blanchard and another soldier were killed at a forward operating base by missile fire. He had been in Afghanistan about a week before he was killed.
The deaths have not been officially announced by the Defense Department.
Blanchard leaves a wife and two young children in New York state and his parents and brothers in Washington.
A 1999 graduate of Selah High School, Blanchard served two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine before becoming an Army pilot to fly an Apache Longbow. He was based at Fort Drum in New York in 2011.