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Afghanistan copter crash kills Schofield soldier
Advertiser Staff and News Services
Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan became the third Schofield Barracks soldier killed in Afghanistan this year when the helicopter he was in crashed Thursday, the Army said yesterday.
Galvan, 30, of Moore, Okla., was a helicopter mechanic assigned to the 2nd Battalion (Assault), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light).
The Army is planning a prayer service early next week.
Fourteen other soldiers, including three from Galvan's unit, were injured when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter developed mechanical problems and crashed near the Pakistan border. Four of the more seriously injured soldiers were sent to Bagram Air Field's hospital. Their condition was not known.
Officials ruled out rebel fire, but the crash highlighted the dangers for troops still hunting Taliban and al-Qaida militants nearly three years after the start of America's war on terror.
The Army said the helicopter was destroyed in the crash but did not burn.
Galvan was a helicopter mechanic who enlisted in the Army in June 1996 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in June 2002. He was born in Fort Ord, Calif., and left a wife, Sonya, and two children, Audrey, 13, and Joseph, 10.
Galvan's father, Blas Ernest Galvan, told the Daily Oklahoman newspaper his son joined the reserves after leaving high school, but eventually decided to enlist full-time. "He was restless in his (high school) classes and just wanted to start working," his father said.
Blas Galvan said his son loved working on Black Hawk helicopters and planned to attend flight school.
Schofield officials said Galvan's wife would have no comment.
Advertiser staff writer Anna Weaver and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Soldier killed in copter crash
Mercedes native is the first in Valley to die in Afghanistan
By FERNANDO DEL VALLE
SAN JUAN — As a boy in Mercedes, Daniel Galvan dreamed of flying Army aircraft.
Thursday, the Army sergeant was on a Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed in Afghanistan two days after his 30th birthday.
"As a young child, he would draw pictures of helicopters. That’s what he wanted to do," his father, retired Master Sgt. Ernest Galvan, said from his home in Moore, Okla. "My son was doing the job he loved. He was doing the job he believed in."
Galvan, a helicopter crew chief, became the first Rio Grande Valley soldier to die in Afghanistan. Seven Valley servicemen have died in the war in Iraq.
In San Juan, Consuelo Galvan clutched her grandson’s photograph as she remembered his plans to get his pilot’s license.
"He told me, ‘When I get my license, I’m going to take you on the helicopter with me,’" she said as her eyes swelled with tears behind dark sunglasses. "And I never had the chance."
Galvan was on the helicopter that carried Marines to a "hot spot of Taliban terrorists" when a "major malfunction" led the aircraft to crash, his father said.
Galvan, who was married with two stepchildren, was the only soldier to die when the helicopter carrying 13 crashed in a turbulent Afghan province north of Kabul near the Pakistani border, his father said.
"I supported my son," said his father, a Vietnam veteran.
"The people we’re after in Afghanistan are the people responsible for what happened in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. I’m proud of my son."
The family’s strong military tradition helped lead Galvan into the Army, his father said.
Galvan’s second oldest brother, Ernesto, served in Desert Storm in 1990, said Ernest Galvan, whose older brother Mike fought in Vietnam. All three of his sons served in the military, Ernest Galvan said.
"It was not what we wanted for our children," he said. "He always thought it was his and everybody’s obligation to serve their country."
After her cousin died fighting in Germany in World War II, Consuelo Galvan feared war would bring more death to her family, she said.
"I’d tell (Daniel) to finish school and go to college, but he said, ‘No, I want to be a pilot. I want you to be proud that you’re going to have a pilot,’" she said.
"I used to ask him, ‘Why do you like danger?’ And he said that in any place you go there can be danger."
Galvan will be buried in Lubbock, his wife Sonya’s hometown, his father said.
"He was our baby," Ernest Galvan said of his youngest child as he fought back tears. "He felt he was doing something that needed to be done, that we are in Afghanistan for a valid reason because it was important for us to look them in the eyes and fight. And that’s what he was doing for our country."
Schofield Soldier Killed In Afghanistan Chopper Crash
Soldier Told Grandmother: 'I Want You To Be Proud Of Me'
POSTED: 3:43 pm HST August 13, 2004
UPDATED: 10:05 am HST August 16, 2004
HONOLULU -- A Schofield Barracks soldier died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan Thursday, according to the Department of Defense.
The Blackhawk helicopter he was in suffered mechanical difficulties and crashed, officials said.
Galvan was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Light Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks. He was a helicopter mechanic.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Galvan's grandmother in Texas had a yellow ribbon pinned up at her home along with an American flag. She said she planned to take down the ribbon when her grandson came home.
"These were his last words: 'Grandma, I don't want you to cry. I want you to be proud of me.' So, that's what I'm trying to do," Galvan's grandmother, Carmen Arteaga, said.
Galvan is the 15th Hawaii-related death in the Middle East since the war in Afghanistan and Iraq began.
He joined the Army in June 1996. He was assigned to Hawaii in June 2002. He leaves behind a wife and two step-children.
Schofield Soldier Dies In Afghanistan
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (AP) - Army officials say a soldier from the Schofield Barracks-based 25th Infantry was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The military says Sergeant Daniel Lee Galvan died in the crash of a Black Hawk U-H-60 helicopter Thursday in Khowst Province in Afghanistan.
He was assigned to the 25th Infantry's Second Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Schofield.
The Army says three other soldiers from Galvan's unit were among the 14 others injured in the crash. Galvan was 30 and from Moore, Oklahoma.
Schofield officials say the helicopter repairer joined the Army in 1996 and was assigned to the Schofield unit in June 2002.
The Army says the cause of the crash is under investigation.
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