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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stephen M. Wells

Died February 25, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

29, of North Egremont, Mass.; assigned to the 4th Squadron, Outlaw Troop, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.; killed Feb. 25 when the OH-58 helicopter in which he was flying crashed in Habbinayah, Iraq.

Helicopter pilot killed in crash laid to rest in Great Barrington

Associated Press

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A helicopter pilot killed in a crash in Iraq was hailed as a hero at his funeral March 6.

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Stephen M. Wells, 29, of Egremont, Mass., was killed Feb. 25 when his helicopter crashed into the Euphrates River in Habbaniyah, Iraq.

Rev. Stewart A. Marshall, pastor of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Ozark, Ala., called Wells “a hero in our eyes, a hero as a father, a hero as a husband, a son, a soldier, a pilot,” the Berkshire Eagle reported.

Wells and his wife, Tosha, were member of Marshall’s parish when he attended flight school at Fort Rucker in Alabama.

During the service at the First Congregational Church, Marshall urged Tosha Wells to be strong and courageous for the sake of the couple’s three sons, ages 9, 6 and 5.

“You will have to be the mother and father for your boys, but God will give you the strength to do so,” he said.

The service was also attended by Gov. Mitt Romney.

Fallen soldier’s first priority was his family

Stephen M. Wells took his three sons on walks, built rockets with them and helped them star gaze with a telescope. His first priority was his family, his mother said.

“I can’t explain in words what kind of young man he was,” Elizabeth Wells said of her son. “He’s always been joyful and laughing and used to find the better part of things.”

The 29-year-old helicopter pilot from Egremont, Mass., died Feb. 25 when his helicopter crashed into the Euphrates River in Habbaniyah, Iraq. He was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.

Chief Warrant Officer Wells joined the Army shortly after high school. He served in Bosnia, Thailand and South Korea.

“I couldn’t have been prouder of anybody,” John Wells said of his son. “What keeps me going is that he was doing what he wanted. It was his job, and he went. He was well on his way to a happy life.”

Survivors include his wife, Tosha, and his sons, ages 9, 6 and 5.

— Associated Press

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