Soldiers killed in chopper crash were highly decorated veterans - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldiers killed in chopper crash were highly decorated veterans

June 3, 2006

Doerun - The four soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Doerun Thursday morning were distinguished Army aviators with impressive military histories.

Sgt. Christopher M. Erberich was born Oct. 10, 1980, in Oceanside, Calif. Sgt. Christopher M. Erberich was born Oct. 10, 1980, in Oceanside, Calif. Erberich earned his Graduation Equivalency Diploma in 1998 from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. He then received his Associates of Applied Science Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from the ITT, also in Boise. Erberich enlisted in the Army Jan. 3, 2001, as a helicopter repairman. After completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and advanced individual training at Fort Eustis, Va., he was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Training Company in August 2001. Upon completion of the Basic Mission Qualification Course, Erberich was assigned to the 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR(A), where he served as a helicopter repairman and then a MH-47D flight engineer. He deployed six times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Aviation Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Erberich is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and his parents, Michael and Teresa Erberich.

 

 

Sgt. Michael D. Hall was born Dec. 14, 1975, in Little Rock, Ark Sgt. Michael D. Hall was born Dec. 14, 1975, in Little Rock, Ark. Hall enlisted in the Army on March 3, 2000. In November 2002, Hall was assigned to the 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR(A)., where he served as an aircraft structural repairman. Hall deployed four times in support of Operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Army Aviation Badge. Hall was posthumously promoted to Sergeant and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. His father, Gary G. Hall, who was a decorated Marine, precedes Michael in death. His mother, Lynda C. Hall; two older brothers, Richard P. Hall and Robert L. Hall; and an older sister, Deborah J. Landers survive him. 

 

 Sgt. Meeks was born July 12, 1977, in Weatherford, Texas, and graduated from Western Hills High School, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1995. Sgt. Rhonald Meeks was born July 12, 1977, in Weatherford, Texas, and graduated from Western Hills High School, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1995. Meeks enlisted in the Army on Oct. 25, 2002, as a heavy helicopter repairman. After completing basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., and advanced individual training at Fort Eustis, Va., he was assigned to the 160th SOATC. Upon completion of the Basic Mission Qualification Course, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., in May 2003 where he served as a helicopter repairman and then a MH-47D flight engineer. He deployed three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Aviation Badge. Meeks was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Meeks is survived by his wife, Alissa; his parents, Mikey and Gaye Meeks; and his brother, Randy Meeks.

 

Chief Warrant Officer Four Michael L. Wright was born October 13, 1964, in Indiana. Chief Warrant Officer Four Michael L. Wright was born October 13, 1964, in Indiana. He graduated from Central Texas College with an Associates Degree in Professional Aeronautics and later Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelors Degree in Professional Aeronautics. After several years in the U.S. Air Force as a Security Police Officer and an air traffic controller, Wright was accepted into the Army Warrant Officer Program at Fort Rucker, Ala., in 1989. He was assigned to 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR(A)., in October 1999 where he served as the MH-47 maintenance platoon leader, battalion production control officer and maintenance officer. He deployed four times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, the Air Medal for Valor, two Army Commendation Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Kuwaiti Defense Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Air Force Training Ribbon. Wright's badges include the Air Assault Badge, Air Force Security Forces Badge, Air Force Air Traffic Controller Badge and Army Master Aviator Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit. Wright was preceded in death by his mother, Joella Wright. He is survived by his wife, Judy; his children, Jennifer, Michael, Mallory and Holly; his father, Floyd Wright; and two sisters, Connie Dahn and Vicki Jo Timmons.


Click here to view the Commander's statement
Click here to view the Hall Family statement
Click here to view the Meeks Family statement
Click here to view the Wright Family statement

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