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4 Hawaii-based soldiers killed in Afghanistan earned many military honors

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 11:19 a.m. HST, Apr 24, 2012


The Pentagon and Schofield Barracks released service details today about the four Wheeler Army Airfield-based soldiers who were killed when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed Thursday in southwestern Afghanistan.

All of the soldiers were assigned to the 25th Infantry Division’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. The cause of the incident is under investigation. 

Killed were:

>> Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas Johnson, 27, of San Diego, Calif.,  who was assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion, and was on his first deployment.

>> Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Viray, 25, of Waipahu, who was assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion., and on his second deployment.

>> Spec. Dean Shaffer, 23, of Pekin, Ill., who was assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, also on his second deployment. Shaffer was posthoumously promoted to sergeant.

>> Spec. Chris Workman, 33, of Boise, Idaho, who was assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion. This was Workman's third deployment. Workman was posthoumously promoted to sergeant.

Johnson's awards include the Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, Army Service Medal and the Aviator Badge. Posthumous awards include Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

Johnson joined the Army Sept. 18, 2003, and became a UH-60 pilot Dec. 12, 2008. He was married with one child.

Viray's awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Air Assault Badge and the Aviator Badge. Posthumous awards include Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

Viray joined the Army June 26, 2007, as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot.

Shaffer's awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Aviator Badge. Posthumous awards include Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

Shaffer joined the Army June 12, 2007, and worked as a UH-60 Black Hawk repairer.

Workman's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Basic Parachutist Badge. Posthumous awards include Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

Workman joined the Army Nov. 24, 2009, and worked as a chemical operations specialist. He was married and had one child.

"Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of our fallen heroes," said Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division. "Although the 25th Combat Action Brigade family has suffered a huge loss, they still continue their mission with the utmost courage and resolve."






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