Luis A Oliver Galbreath
San Juan, Puerto Rico
August 16, 2012
Killed in a helicopter crash northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
|From NBC 2 nbc-2.com 08/20/12
Local soldier killed in helicopter crash
Posted: Aug 20, 2012 7:20 PM PDT
Updated: Aug 21, 2012 4:24 PM PDT
LEHIGH ACRES -
A highly decorated soldier from Lehigh Acres died while serving in Afghanistan, according to the United States Department of Defense.
Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
He died in an August 16 helicopter crash northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Hornsby's father explained he attended Riverdale High School. He also attended and graduated from the University of South Florida, Fort Myers – what is now Florida Gulf Coast University.
"I saw his picture on the news this morning and couldn't believe it," said childhood friend Vicki Minor.
She says she remembers Hornsby as a shy guy surrounded by friends.
"He was a quiet, home town kind of kid - just everybody's buddy," Minor said. "I saw his picture on the news this morning and couldn't believe it."
Chief Warrant Officer Hornsby was married with two young children and his family is now making plans for a private memorial service.
He was deployed to Afghanistan in January of 2012.
Hornsby's father says he spoke to him on August 8, 2012 via Skype. Tuesday, he sent this email into our newsroom.
"CW3 Brian D. Hornsby was a loving and compassionate husband, father, son, brother and friend who never chose the easy path in life.
He joined the Army in 1998 as a Military Policeman with the ultimate dream of becoming a pilot. That dream became a reality in 2001 when he was selected for the Army Warrant Officer and Aviation Programs.
Brian certified as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot in 2003 and has flown VIP missions in Europe, MEDEVAC missions in Honduras, Air Assault missions in Iraq, and Special Operations Support missions in Afghanistan during his Army Aviation career.
It was during one of the Special Operations missions that his helicopter went down. He was highly respected as "one of the best of the best pilots" and often requested by name to fly the really tough and dangerous missions. He never turned down that special opportunity because he knew it would save the lives of fellow servicemen.
He leaves behind his lovely wife and two very special young children. We miss him dearly."
Six others were killed in the same crash:
- Chief Warrant Officer Suresh N. A. Krause, 29, of Cathedral City, CA
- Sergeant Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Sergeant Richard A. Essex, 23, Kelseyville, CA
- Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, of Edgewater, Md
- Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson, 32, of Des Moines, Wash
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