Among the seven killed in the helicopter crash in Iraq the other day were three Oklahoma National Guardsmen from the Lexington unit (initial reports listed five deaths).
Family members of 36-year-old Brady Rudolf confirm he was killed in the chopper accident. Rudolf was a graduate of Durant High School. His brother is a member of the Durant Fire Department.
Twenty-three-year-old Corporal Michael Thompson, from Kingston was also aboard the helicopter that went down near Baghdad. His parents tell us he was a machine gunner aboard the Chinook helicopter.
The third man is Dan Eshbaugh of Norman, who leaves behind a wife and four children.
According to the Army statement, the Chinook was not under attack at the time of the crash, and was performing a “routine post-maintenance check flight”. An investigation has been launched.
According to iCasualties.org, there have been 510 68 Oklahomans lost in the Iraq war to date (correction: the 510 figure refers to wounded, see comments below this post).
Sympathies to the families, friends and communities of these men, as well as the four Texans also killed.