Captain Aaron R. Blanchard
Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash., died April 23, in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from enemy indirect fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y. Capt Blanchard was a married father of two. He was born and raised in Selah. He served two tours with the Marines in Iraq. After that, he joined the ROTC and graduated from Central Washington University. He remained in the Army and was recently promoted to Captain. He had been in Afghanistan for just a short time. Blanchard, an Apache pilot, joined the Marine Corps in January 2000, and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from January to September 2003. After separating from the Marine Corps and completing an ROTC program Blanchard was commissioned into the Army in June 2009. He completed pilot training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and arrived at Fort Drum in September 2011. He deployed with his unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in April 2013. His awards and decorations include, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the NATO Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Army Aviator Badge, the Navy-Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, four Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and two Rifle Expert Badges. He also completed Marine Combat Training, Aviation Machinist Mate Courses, the Apache Aviator Qualification Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course and the Aviation Officer Basic Course. Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, Washington
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