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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Theodore U. Church

Died May 28, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

32, of Ohio; assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died May 28 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his OH-58D Kiowa helicopter crashed after receiving heavy enemy fire during combat operations. Also killed was 1st Lt. Keith N. Heidtman.

Ohio soldier killed after helicopter crashes in Iraq

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — A soldier from Ohio was one of two based at the Schofield Barracks in Honolulu who were killed in Iraq this week, the Pentagon said May 30.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Theodore U. Church of South Point, Ohio, and 1st Lt. Keith N. Heidtman of Norwich, Conn., died from wounds sustained when their helicopter crashed after being hit by enemy fire.

Church’s family in Ohio asked the Army to tell the media they wanted to grieve in private, a Schofield public affairs official said. Church was 32 years old.

Heidtman, 24, was a graduate of Norwich Free Academy and the University of Connecticut. He arrived in Iraq in December and was scheduled to come home for leave in July.

Church and Heidtman were among 10 U.S. soldiers who died in roadside bombings and the helicopter crash May 28, the military reported, making May the deadliest month of the year for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Eight of those killed were from Task Force Lightning. Six were killed in an insurgent roadside bomb ambush as they raced to rescue the two who died in the helicopter crash. The military did not say if the helicopter was shot down or had mechanical problems. All eight died in Diyala province north of the capital.

“We know that the helicopter had received ground fire, but do not know yet the cause of the helicopter going down,” Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman, said in an interview with Associated Press Radio.

Heidtman and Church were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in the 25th Infantry Division.

Family, friends recall soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

Fellow Chief Warrant Officer Eric Smith, who was a Cavalry scout like Theodore U. Church, said of his friend, “He was a man’s man.

He wore spurs and he knew how to use them.”

Church, 32, known as “Tuc,” of South Point, Ohio, was killed May 28 when his helicopter crashed in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, under enemy fire.

He was a 1993 high school graduate and was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

John Hess, friend of the late soldier said, “The time I spent with Tuc I will cherish as some of the best times of my life.” He said the two shared common interests of cars, hunting and paintball. “I have no bad memories of Tuc.”

He is survived by his wife, Mindi, a 6-year-old daughter, Maryn, and a 4-year-old son, Dorian.

“Tuc loved motorcycles and cars. He loved to travel,” said Renee Culver, a cousin. “His first ‘son’ was a three-legged boxer pup named Gixer, who he liked to wrestle with. He made every Fourth of July a celebration with fireworks that rivaled the ones set off at major tourist attractions. He was a big joker who got away with anything because he looked so blue-eyed and innocent.”

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