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Obama, Military Leaders Pay Respects at Dover Air Force Base

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2011 – President Barack Obama and military leaders paid their respects today at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware during the dignified transfer of remains of service members killed in an Aug. 6 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
President Barack Obama begins a salute as he participates in a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., Aug. 9, 2011, for the dignified transfer of U.S. and Afghan personnel who died in the Aug. 6 helicopter crash in Afghanistan's Wardak province. White House photo by Pete Souza

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Two Air Force C-17 transport aircraft carrying the remains arrived at Dover this morning.

An investigation is under way to determine the facts surrounding the deaths of 30 U.S. service members and eight Afghans when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down in Afghanistan’s Wardak province. Five of the U.S. casualties were aircrew members, and 25 were members of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta was in attendance at Dover today, along with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah; and Michael G. Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

Representing the services were Navy Secretary Ray E. Mabus, Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West; Army Secretary John M. McHugh and Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff; and Air Force Undersecretary Erin C. Conaton, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, Air Force vice chief of staff, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy.


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Leon E. Panetta
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen

Related Articles:
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Service Members Embody Best of America, Obama Says
Panetta Urges Continuing Afghan Mission to Emphasize Resolve
Spokesman: Probe Will Determine Chinook Crash Facts
Ill-fated Mission Targeted Taliban Leader, Officials Say
Leaders Offer Condolences in Wake of Helicopter Crash


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

8/10/2011 10:09:58 PM
Thirty-eight souls, their lives cut short, and in pursuit of true nobility. A band of ignoble thieves, stealing their victim's sin, and so it is their inheritance. May God bless our beloved and noble fallen warriors. And duly so: let them know your true glory. Without further petition, let their families know them in Heaven. May God bless those thieves, in their binding to Hate, Fear, and Lies--may they find humility in their bindings set forth here and now beheld forevermore. In the name of God's Son and our Savior, I pray.
- Terrance Wood, Henderson, NV

8/9/2011 10:52:46 PM
A great soldier once said: "Do not greeve for the loss of these men; rather, thank God the sich men lived". I feel the pain of loss for the families of the fallen. Honor their memory and service. Stedfast and loyal.
- Eric Raspperry SSG(RET), Fullerton, Ca

8/9/2011 4:17:56 PM
On a day like today it makes every loyal American reflect on just what the price of freedom is. I didn’t invent the quote but to everyone out there that pretends not to realize it, “Freedom Isn’t Free!” The freedom we all have has been acquired on the backs of our military for over 200 years. I do pray that we never have to loose another brave soul but realistically that is not the case, soldiers will die, 2 and 4 legged, to preserve the way of like for the Greatest Country on this God’s Earth. Please take a moment of your time to reflect and think of those who perished last Saturday for your freedom and remember, “See a Soldier, Thank a Soldier, See a Soldier’s Family, Thank Them for Their Sacrifices!” May God Bless them ALL! RIP Brave Souls and Thank You from one humbled American!
- Frank A Yevchak Jr, Hewitt, NJ

8/9/2011 2:50:57 PM
Every Hero should be welcomed home with as much respect and attention while respecting the wishes of their loved ones. Rotate the members of Congress to attend these so that when they vote on military spending, freezing the budget, etc., they get a sense of the who pays the highest price for all of our freedoms. These are the best Americans and they are irreplaceable! When my grandson returns to Astan with the 101st next deployment, I hope that America is still supporting them loudly and proudly. My vote is my service to America, and we the people honor all who serve! God bless America.
- Rosie Travis, California

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