Flags at the state Capitol in Carson City flew at half-staff Monday in honor of Army Chief Warrant Officer-2 Joshua R. Rodgers who was killed when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter he was copiloting was shot down last week in Afghanistan, a spokesman for Gov. Jim Gibbons said.
Rodgers, 29, of Carson City, was assigned to an aviation support unit of the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C., not far from where his wife and daughters were residing in Sanford, N.C., while he was deployed, said Gibbons’ communication director Brent Boynton.
In a statement, the governor said, "As a child growing up in Gardnerville, Josh longed to fly. He turned that passion for flying into a patriotic mission in the global war on terror. All Nevadans and all Americans are indebted to (him) for his selfless sacrifice in the name of freedom."
Rodgers attended Douglas High School in Minden. His mother resides in Carson City and his father lives in Jonesboro, Ark. Many others in his family live in the Gardnerville area, according to the governor’s office.
Citing initial reports by the Army, Boynton said Rodgers was killed when his helicopter crashed after receiving rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire.
The Associated Press reported the attack occurred Wednesday in the Helmand province of south-central Afghanistan during a NATO International Security Assistance Force operation. Rodgers and four other U.S. soldiers were killed along with a soldier from Canada and one from the United Kingdom, who were on board the twin-rotar Chinook.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting it down.
Rodgers was the 52nd member of the U.S. military with ties to Nevada who have died in the nation’s wars since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
He is the fourth from Nevada to die in helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.
Two Army National Guard soldiers, Chief Warrant Officer-3 John M. Flynn, of Sparks and Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart, of Fernley, were killed when their Chinook went down Sept. 25, 2005 in Afghanistan; and Army Sgt. John C. Griffith, of Las Vegas, was killed along with nine others on May 5, 2006, when the Chinook they were in tumbled down a mountainside and exploded in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.Operation Iraqi FreedomNews updates, local coverage, multimedia and more.