'It's sad': Fayetteville veterans mourn the lives lost in Black Hawk helicopter crash

Monique John Image
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Fayetteville veterans mourn the lives lost in KY helicopter crash
The Army confirmed Thursday that nine service members were killed last night in a crash between two Black Hawk helicopters in Kentucky.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The deadly Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kentucky is leaving many in deep sorrow and shock. The events have been leading veterans in Fayetteville to offer their own thoughts and emotions on the tragedy while reflecting on their own service. Some of those veterans were survivors of crashes themselves.

"I feel for them because I went through that process," Roy Villaflour, a Vietnam veteran. "And I know, going down on that helicopter, you can see your life flash by you."

"Those troops, they left home, and left their families with no expectation of returning. And now they don't return. It's sad," said Carl Drew, also a Vietnam veteran.

The Army confirmed Thursday that nine service members were killed Wednesday night in the crash. Two HH60 Black Hawk helicopters in Trigg County, Kentucky collided about 40 minutes from Fort Campbell during a training mission. The assault helicopters were in the 101st Airborne Division.

One of the service members lost was Caleb Gore of North Carolina.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg offered his condolences stating:

"Our thoughts, our hearts, our prayers, are with the families that have been impacted and it's a reminder that even stateside and even in peace time, our service members face danger in doing their work."

There are no known ties to Fort Bragg at this time, however Commander General Chris Donahue issued a statement, saying:

"During this time, we'd ask that we respect the families impacted as they continue to be notified of the loss of their loved ones and respect the unit as they remain focused on caring for their people."

"Pray. Pray that they're in good hands. They served their country well and they made their ultimate sacrifice and everybody should appreciate them," Villaflour said to the families.