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Memorial held for Idaho National Guard pilots killed in crash

The men died one week ago when their Black Hawk helicopter went down in the Danskin Mountains east of Boise.

BOISE, Idaho — Three fallen pilots with the Idaho Army National Guard were honored in a memorial ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

The men died one week ago when their Black Hawk helicopter went down in the Danskin Mountains east of Boise. There were no survivors. 

The pilots, all of whom had experience flying in inclement weather, were on a routine training exercise, officials said.

They were identified as 43-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jesse Anderson of Boise, 39-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 3 George “Geoff” Laubhan of Boise, and 43-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Peltzer of Nampa. All three were married, and leave behind children. 

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen Idaho National Guard members. The cause of the helicopter crash is unknown, and an investigation is underway.

"At difficult times like this, our number one priority is to take care of the family members as well as the fellow Guardsmen,"  said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard. "So today was an opportunity for the fellow guardsmen of our fallen aviators to pay their respects and honor the service and the sacrifice of their fellow Guardsmen."

The memorial service began at 1 p.m. at Gowen Field's Memorial Park.

Family members, friends, and current or former members of the Idaho Military Division were invited to attend, but the memorial was not open to the general public. 

Friends and family members spoke about the three men, praising their bravery and devotion to their families, before they were honored with a final roll call, taps and a rifle volley.

Garshak added that those in the fallen pilot's unit and beyond have been touched by the many kind messages the Idaho National Guard has received in the wake of the crash.

"The outpouring of support from throughout the community and throughout Idaho, and really across the nation has really been very appreciated and very comforting," he said.

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