Marine Memorial Held for Chopper Collision Victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/Sandy Huffaker
    The main gate at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base

    Four Marines killed in a chopper collision in Afghanistan were honored Monday at a memorial at Camp Pendleton.

    Families, friends and members of the military attended the service at the base's chapel for the victim's of the Oct. 26 crash.
       
    The Marines were assigned to squadrons under the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Killed in the collision were:

    Chopper Crash Kills Local Marines

    [DGO] Chopper Crash Kills Local Marines
    Four of those killed when two helicopters collide were based at Camp Pendleton. (Published Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009)

    • Capt. Kyle Van De Giesen, 29, of North Attleboro, Mass. He left behind a family that includes a pregnant wife and an 18-month old daughter
    • Capt. David Seth Mitchell, 30, of Loveland, Ohio
    • Capt. Eric Jones, 29, of Westchester, New York
    • Corp. Gregory Fleury, 23, of Anchorage, Alaska

    At the memorial on Monday, one Marine called the loss "a shot to the gut," while another remembered Jones as a jokster who loved his family and fiance-to-be.

    "He talked quite a bit about the ring he was going to buy for her because he planned on getting engaged when he got back home," the Marine said.

    The crash took place on Oct. 26 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. The cause of the collision is still under investigation. Two other Camp Pendleton-based Marines were also hurt in that crash.

    The deadly crash happened on the same day as another crash in Afghanistan that killed 10 other Americans.

    In that incident -- seven U.S. servicemen and three DEA agents died after their chopper crashed in Western Afghanistan. They were targeting a suspected drug and weapons trafficker who supplies militants, including the Taliban.