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YAKIMA, WASH. — A Fort Drum, N.Y.-based helicopter pilot who grew up in Washington state was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, his mother said.
Laura Schactler of Selah told the Yakima Herald-Republic that 32-year-old Aaron Blanchard and another soldier were killed at a forward operating base by missile fire. He had been in Afghanistan about a week before he was killed.
The deaths have not been confirmed by the Defense Department.
Blanchard leaves a wife and two young children in New York state, and his parents and brothers in Washington state.
A 1999 graduate of Selah High School, Blanchard served two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine before becoming an Army pilot to fly an Apache Longbow. He moved to Drum in 2011.
Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com