Friday, November 27, 2015         

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Services set for Schofield soldier Viray who died in Afghanistan

By William Cole


A 2004 Roosevelt High School graduate killed in Afghanistan who joined the Hawaii Army National Guard at 17 and later loved his job as an active duty helicopter pilot will be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on May 10, an official said.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don C. Viray, 25, of Wai­pahu, was one of four Schofield Barracks soldiers who died when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in bad weather April 19 on a night flight in southern Af­ghani­stan.

Visitation for Viray will be at 9 a.m. May 10 at Borthwick Mortuary, 1330 Maunakea Street, the mortuary said. A service will be held at 10 a.m., and burial will be at 1 p.m. at Punchbowl.

The service for Viray is open to the public, Borthwick said.

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.

Also killed in the helicopter crash were Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas S. Johnson, 27, of San Diego; Spc. Dean R. Shaffer, 23, of Pekin, Ill.; and Spc. Chris J. Workman, 33, of Boise, Idaho.

The soldiers were with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, out of Wheeler Army Airfield.

The four deaths are the first for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, whose 2,600 Hawaii soldiers deployed in January for a year in southern Af­ghani­stan. The unit's approximately 90 Black Hawk, Kiowa Warrior and Chinook helicopters also were shipped out.

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