…in 2006, a UH-60 Blackhawk crashed near Tal Afar.
12 souls perished that day.
Why is it significant? Well, it’s significant because my friend was killed in that crash.
And as I do every year since then, I honor his memory and those of the other 11 that were lost that day.
Doug was my friend. He was my son’s godfather. He was an honorable man. He is sorely missed all the time. He was my last platoon leader that I had in the Army. He was the best of the bunch. And I don’t say that lightly.
Jan. 7, 2006: A Black Hawk helicopter carrying eight U.S. troops and four American civilians crashed near the northern city of Tal Afar, killing all aboard.
Here’s the names of the souls lost that day: Maj. Stuart M. Anderson, 44, of the 3rd Corps Support Command; Maj. Douglas A. LaBouff, 36, Capt. Michael R. Martinez, 43, and 1st Lt. Joseph D. deMoors, 36, all of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment; and 1st Lt. Jaime L. Campbell, 25, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chester W. Troxel, 45, Spc. Michael I. Edwards, 26, and Spc. Jacob E. Melson, 22, all assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment. From Dyncorp International, Arsenio Domingo, 40, and Robert Timmann, 49, were killed in the crash. Both were members of a Civilian Police Advisory Training Team working with Iraqi police officers. I don’t know the names of the other two civilians lost in the crash.
A salute to my friend and those that died with him.
This is Doug. He was just promoted to Major.
Rest easy, sleep well my brother.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell…
I still cry when I think about it too much.