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Army Capt. Pierre E. Piche

Died November 15, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

29, of Starksboro, Vt.; assigned to the 626th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Nov. 15 when two 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq.

Soldier killed in helicopter crash had Connecticut ties

Associated Press

STARKSBORO, Vt. — A soldier killed when two Black Hawk helicopters collided in Iraq last weekend went to high school in Connecticut.

1st Lt. Pierre Piche, 28, was born in Burlington and attended elementary school in Colchester and middle school in South Hero. He went to high school at Loomis Chaffee, a private school in Windsor, Conn.

He was one of 17 soldiers from the 101st Airborne based in Fort Campbell, Ky., who died in the crash.

“This was not supposed to happen,” Piche’s mother, Lisa Johnson of Starksboro, said Monday. Piche was her only child.

“He was supposed to grow old with his wife — that’s what he was supposed to do,” she said.

When Piche was 11, he served as a page in the Vermont Legislature, Johnson said.

Piche’s father lives in New York City, Johnson said.

After Loomis Chaffee, Piche returned to Vermont to attend the University of Vermont, his mother said. He left after a year and a half, later graduating from a college in Tennessee, she said.

After he became a full-time soldier, Piche married and settled at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. It’s not clear where Piche’s widow will go, Johnson said. She is from Illinois. The couple had no children.

“The military requires that you leave officer housing, so we’re not sure what’s going to happen next,” she said.

Piche was scheduled to return home in February after serving a full year in Iraq.

The Johnsons said Piche had told them he was concerned that so many soldiers had been killed in helicopter crashes.

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