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Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Richard M. Salter

Died December 26, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

44, of Cypress, Texas; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Dec. 26 when his Apache helicopter collided with another military aircraft in mid-air and then crashed in Baghdad. Also killed was Chief Warrant Officer 2 Isaias E. Santos. The incident is under investigation.

Texas soldier ‘absolutely loved’ flying

The Associated Press

CYPRESS, Texas — As a child, Richard Salter spent countless hours playing with an air rescue helicopter he received one Christmas and foreshadowed what he would do as an adult.

Salter went on to become chief warrant officer in the Army who not only flew helicopters but had also trained other soldiers to fly the Apache.

On the day after Christmas, Salter was one of two soldiers killed in Baghdad when their Apache helicopter crashed after colliding with another military aircraft in midair, the Department of Defense said Wednesday.

“He loved (flying), he absolutely loved it,” said his sister, Sara Ward of Cypress, in Wednesday’s online edition of the Houston Chronicle. “He loved what he did, and he loved his country with the same fierceness that he loved his family.”

Salter, 44, had left for Iraq in November and was on his second tour when he died Monday, along with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Isaias E. Santos, 28, of Ancon, Panama.

The incident that caused their deaths is under investigation, the defense department said. Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood.

Salter joined the Army after graduating from Texas A&M University in 1985.

He flew an air attack mission in support of ground troops that captured Saddam Hussein during his first tour, his sister said.

After returning, Salter finished building the dream home he had designed with his wife. The family moved into the home, on the Lampasas River, in May, Ward said.

Aside from his sister, Salter is survived by his wife, Janet; sons Jarrett Matthew, 15, and Lane Douglas, 7 months; daughters Christina Gabriel, 18, and Danielle Leigh, 6; and his parents, Dougald Ladd Salter and Sara Jo Salter, of Cypress.

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