A Florida mother of a US soldier killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan said she will never leave the country, saying she wants to go back to a better life and see her children grow up to be good people.
“I just want to be able to go to the grocery store and have a cup of coffee, and I want to make a sandwich for my kids,” she told the AP.
“This country has given me so much.
I just want it to be different.”
Her son, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Parrish, was killed in the crash in December.
A US military spokesman told CNN that Parrish was part of an elite unit of elite special operations forces who were conducting combat operations in northern Afghanistan when he was killed.
The unit is the highest-level special operations force in the US Army.
“The American people need to know what happened in the United States of America,” said Parrish’s mother, who was speaking from the hospital in a wheelchair.
“We need to see what the hell happened in Afghanistan.”
“I know there are many people who have lost their lives in Afghanistan,” said Laura Parrish.
“My sons love their country. “
They love America and they want to go home. “
My sons love their country.
They love America and they want to go home.
They are going to become a good American.”
Parrish and his family had traveled from the state of Georgia to visit their son’s grave site in a remote area of Afghanistan, where they are being treated for wounds sustained in the incident.
They will not be able visit their fallen comrade’s grave until at least the end of June.
The US military said Parish and two other special operations personnel were flying an Apache helicopter from Camp Bastion, near Kabul, to a military base near Kandahar when it crashed on December 31.
“They were on a mission to conduct a rescue mission when they crashed,” said Lt.
Col. Brian Salerno, the US military’s top spokesman in Afghanistan.
“While conducting a rescue operation, the helicopter was hit by a mine, and one of the three occupants was killed.”
US officials said the Apache was on a training mission when it collided with an enemy helicopter.
“Both the Apache and the helicopter were struck by mines and one person was killed,” a US official told CNN.
The Apache pilot, Lt.
Richard D. Wollner, who is now a lieutenant colonel, was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he was in critical condition, the military said.
“His condition has improved,” said Colonel John Campbell, spokesman for the US mission in Afghanistan, in a statement.
Wolsner is a brave man who gave his life to defend our freedom. “
Wolsner is a brave man who gave his life to defend our freedom.
His bravery and selfless sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
US soldiers are being held in a military hospital in Camp Bastorion.
The pilot, the chief of the Apache, and two of the occupants of the helicopters, Staff Sgt., Ryan B. Parrish Jr. and Staff Sgt, Joshua D. Bostic, were awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals respectively, the statement said.
The other two crew members were awarded other military decorations.
The commander of the American Special Operations Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, who leads the war against the Taliban, also said Parry had been killed in action.
“He was an outstanding and brave soldier who died protecting the American and Afghan people,” Votell said in a video message posted to the Pentagon.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
The Pentagon said the two pilots were part of the same elite unit, which includes about 40 special operations troops and two Apache helicopters.
The command is still assessing the extent of the damage to the helicopter.
US troops are in Afghanistan to support the Afghan military in its fight against the insurgents.
The incident is the latest in a string of high-profile incidents involving American soldiers and the Afghan security forces in Afghanistan over the past several years.
A year ago, a US Navy SEAL and a Navy pilot were killed in an airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.
Two weeks ago, two US Marines were killed when a bomb detonated on their helicopter in Kandahar province.
The Pentagon has said the attacks were carried out by a Taliban group linked to al-Qaida.
On January 16, a drone fired three missiles at the Afghan National Security Forces’ (ANSSF) compound in eastern Kunar province, killing two soldiers and wounding five others.