Willits, Angwin seals killed in helicopter crash - Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Jesse Pittman said family members and friends, a former fireman from Willits, and Darrik Benson, grew in Napa County town Angwin, both members of the US Navy SEAL team were killed early Saturday on a mission in the province of Wardak.

"It is sad thing and a great shock, one" said Willits high school principal Gordon Oslund, the Pittman knew.

As of late Monday, the Pentagon had not released the names of the 30 Americans and seven Afghan troops, and interpreters, who perished in the helicopter crash in the bloodiest day for US troops in the almost decade-long Afghan conflict.

But in Willits and Angwin, family members and friends mourned the loss of two young men, who were members of the elite SEAL commando team and repeated her life is in danger bring to serve their country.

Pittman attended Willits high school in 2002 and worked two seasons as a seasonal firefighter CAL fire before joining the Navy, according to friends of the family. He was smart, hard-working and, according to those who knew him.

"He was just a big kid," said Chris Wilkes, a friend of the family.

Pittman had dreamed of, a member of the seals and his work on CAL announced fire, to pursue it, Wilkes said.

"I have tried to talk it out." I told him who chances of becoming a Navy SEAL slim to none, "said Wilkes."

But Pittman would not deter.

"If he actually passed the training and came back, we all proud him were," said Wilkes.

Pittman's parents, Terry and IDA Pittman of Willits, was achieved not Monday for comment. Terry Pittman is a heavy equipment operator for CAL fire, said his supervisor, norm Brown, a battalion chief.

Benson, 29, was a third generation resident of Angwin from Saint Helena high school in 2001, his grandmother, Claudia Benson, said the Napa Valley register.

He trained seal in 2003, according to the Angwin reporter. He performance not brag about, Editor said Duane Cronk KGO-TV. From the Navy register selected 209 ended only 19.

"He was even speaking not the kind of person, a lot about themselves, and some people would have been, you know, really, everyone wanted to know." "But he was not that kind of person," said Cronk KGO-TV.

Her grandson said Claudia Benson often spoke on record in the military.

"He loved this kind of stuff," she said, Napa Valley register. "He was in the free fellow, he loved life and loved to ride motorcycles."

His parents, life in Angwin, and his fiancée and 2-year-old son was living in Virginia, where Benson stationed grandparents and other family members, said his grandmother. The couple marry, after Benson carried out its current deployment, which is expected to end next month planned.

This was his fourth tour of duty, his grandmother said.

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Willits, Angwin seals killed in helicopter crash - Santa Rosa Press Democrat