The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Robert J. Hess, 26, of Fairfax, Va. was a Northern Virginia resident and 1st Lt. The other deceased soldier was Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash.
Both died April 23, in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from enemy indirect fire.
The soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Hess was a Blackhawk pilot. After completing pilot training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, he arrived at Fort Drum in November 2012, according to the Ft. Drum website.
He was recently deployed to Afghanistan in April 2013.
Hess’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the NATO Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Aviator Badge.
Hess is survived by his mother, father and brother
For more information please contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at 315-772-8286 or 315-523-4546.