In Memory

July 27, 2006

“And even when your hope is gone, Move along, move along just to make it through”

I’ve just found out that my Aunt Darlene, cousins Bryn (21), and Caroline (18) were killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. We really don’t know any details at this point. My Uncle Stuart has been living in Afghanistan and they were flying there to visit them. We don’t know if the helicopter crashed due to a malfunction, or if it was shot down. All I know is all three of them were in it and all 3 have died. My uncle is currently being sedated at the hospital. I didn’t know them very well, but they were my first cousins and they were still young. All three of them were at my wedding last month…. Bryn caught the flowers at my wedding, she was sposed to be the next to get married then by tradition. We just went to Caroline’s high school graduation party. She was sposed to be starting UGA in the fall. I’m going to post some pix I have of them as a tribute.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/07/27/afghan.crash.ap/index.html

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — All 16 people on board a helicopter that crashed in bad weather in eastern Afghan mountains were killed, including at least two American civilians and two Dutch military personnel, officials have said.

The cause of the crash was unclear.

The Mi-8 civilian helicopter went down on Wednesday northeast of Khost city — a region where al-Qaeda and Taliban militants are believed to be active.

Afghan army and coalition troops have recovered 12 bodies and are searching for four more in the difficult, mountainous terrain, Col. Tom Collins, a coalition spokesman, told reporters in Kabul.

“There are no survivors,” Collins said. “The terrain in this area is extremely difficult and we are now working hard to recover the remaining crew and passengers.”

Collins said those on board included at least two Americans and people of other, unspecified nationalities.

The Dutch military said two of its officers — a lieutenant colonel from the air force and an army sergeant, both serving with a NATO-led security force — were on board.

“It looks bad, and by that I mean that the helicopter has crashed, not — as we had hoped — made a hard landing,” said Dutch Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Nico van der Zee in The Hague. “It’s beginning to look like the people have died.”

The Russian-made helicopter was operated by a logistics firm, Tryco. A Tryco official in Kabul said it was rented by Fluor, a U.S.-based company doing construction work in Khost province, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the capital, Kabul.

The 16 people on board reportedly included at least three crew.

A Western diplomat, who was not authorized to speak to media, said there was confusion over who had been on board the helicopter as the passenger manifest listing their names had been kept on the aircraft. It was flying from Kabul to Khost.

Collins said there was no indication yet what caused the crash, but Van der Zee said it looked like an accident.

“It was in a mountainous region in very bad weather — rain and mist which reduced visibility. That points toward it being an accident such as flying into a mountain or something like that,” he said.

However, he added that the military had not yet ruled out the helicopter being shot down.

Maj. Luke Knittig, a spokesman for a NATO-led security force in Afghanistan, said the Dutch officers were studying security arrangements at a U.S.-run base in Khost to help them as they establish their own camps in restive Uruzgan province where hundreds of their troops are deploying.

The Netherlands has more than 1,500 troops in Afghanistan, most of them in Uruzgan. There have been no fatalities before among the Dutch forces here.

A coalition quick reaction team was also deployed to hike to the crash site on Wednesday.

In Kabul, Gen. Abdul Rahman, deputy chief of Afghan border police, said a team of border police had reached the scene on Wednesday afternoon and found at least four bodies.

There have been a series of fatal helicopter crashes in Afghanistan over the past year from accidents or hostile fire.

July 29, 2006

The Newscast

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/9590079/detail.html?rss=atl&psp=news

click the link above to see the news broadcast of it

Atlanta Mother, 2 Daughters Killed In Afghanistan Chopper Crash

POSTED: 5:58 am EDT July 28, 2006
UPDATED: 5:14 pm EDT July 28, 2006

ATLANTA — A college roommate of an Atlanta woman who was killed along with her two daughters in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan described her as “a devoted wife and mother.”
Fifty-five-year-old Darlene Moulder and her daughters, 21-year-old Bryn and 17-year-old Caroline, were on their way Wednesday to meet with their husband and father, Stuart Moulder, a civilian contractor in Afghanistan.

Lee Buffington said they were going to spend a week with him in Afghanistan and then spend a week on vacation in Turkey. Buffington met Darlene Moulder when the two were students at Oglethorpe University in the 1970s.

Buffington said, “She was a very devoted wife and mother. They were just a good all-American family. Everybody loved one another. They will certainly be missed.

Buffington said Stuart Moulder called her after the crash. She said he wanted to tell people who were close to his wife and daughters about the accident before they heard about it from the media.

She said, “He was very upset, extremely upset. It was very hard for him to speak.”

The Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter — owned by the Afghan government and operated by a private company — crashed about 25 miles northeast of Khost city en route from the capital, Kabul.

The helicopter was operated by a logistics firm, Tryco. A Tryco official in Kabul said the helicopter was rented by Fluor, a U.S.-based company doing construction work in Khost province, about 90 miles south of Kabul.

A purported Taliban spokesman claimed the rebels shot down the chopper, but a military official said it probably crashed by accident in bad weather.

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