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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Aaron A. Weaver

Died January 8, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

32, of Inverness, Florida; assigned to C Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed Jan. 8 while on board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed during a Medevac mission in Fallujah, Iraq.

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Rebounding from testicular cancer, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Aaron Weaver could have stayed put at Fort Bragg when his unit shipped out to Iraq last year. But that wasn’t like him. Weaver, 32, of Inverness, Fla., had worked hard to get himself back into shape after cancer surgery in 2002, and got a special medical clearance to fly his OH-58 observer helicopter in Iraq, his father, Mike Weaver said.

“He wanted to go to Iraq,” his father said. “When you’re in a group like that, you don’t want your friends to leave you behind.”

Weaver was on a Black Hawk helicopter en route to Baghdad for a checkup when the craft was shot down south of Fallujah, Iraq. The Jan. 8 crash killed eight other soldiers. As an Army Ranger, Weaver survived the October 1993 battle of Mogadishu in Somalia that was recounted in the book and film, “Black Hawk Down.” He helped save a buddy’s life and is featured in a documentary on the battle.

— Associated Press

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