By Courtesy StoryApril 6, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - With temperatures hovering in the 50s, Northern New York weather seemed to smile on the small group gathered March 10, to celebrate the memory of 11 10th Mountain Division Soldiers.
The Soldiers were from Company C, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment (R/A) (AH-64); and Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment (Assault).
Gail Smith, returns every year to celebrate the life of not only her youngest son, Pfc. Tommy C. Young, but also the 10 other Soldiers who died in the same helicopter crash on March 11, 2003.
She travels from Knoxville, Tenn. to place a white cross holding 11 roses, in memory of each Soldier at the site of the crash.
Young was a member of Co. C, 4-31st Inf. and was youngest of three children.
Life of military service is all her son ever wanted, Smith said. And having already served overseas Young showed a strong dedication not only to his unit, but also to the Army.
"It doesn't seem fair, that Chance (which is what he was called by his Family)should be taken," She said.
But Smith went on to say that her Family is proud of Young and sometimes it seems like he "just walked out the door."
Smith returns every year to remember and pay her respects not only for her son, but for the others. Other Soldiers who died in the accident were:
Co. C, 4-31st Inf.:
Staff Sgt. Brian L. Pavlich,
Sgt. John L. Eichenlaub,
Sgt. Joshua M. Harapko,
Spc. Shawn A. Mayerscik,
Pfc. Andrew D. Stevens,
Pfc. Stryder O. Stoutenburg
Pfc. Tommy C. Young, all of
HHC, 1-10th Aviation:
Capt. Christopher E. Britton
Co. B, 2-10 Aviation
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kenneth L. Miller,
Spc. Lucas V. Tripp
Spc. Barry M. Stephens