US Army Captain Aaron R. Blanchard, serving with the 2nd Aviation Battalion, was one of two American soldiers killed on 23rd April 2013 in Pul-e-Alam.
32-year-old Capt. Blanchard, from Selah, Washington, was commissioned in the US Army in June 2009, having previously served with the US Marine Corps. He trained as an Apache helicopter pilot and transferred to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, in 2011. He deployed with his unit to Afghanistan in April this year.
His awards include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, NATO Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge and the Army Achievement Medal, among many other decorations.
Captain Blanchard leaves his wife, two children, mother, father and two brothers.
Captain Blanchard and his colleague, 1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, died from "wounds suffered from enemy indirect fire," according to a statement by the US department of Defense.