AUSTIN (KXAN) — The flag at the state capitol was flying at half-staff in honor of two U.S. service members from Texas who died in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The two soldiers were stationed at Fort Hood, between Austin and Waco. The Department of Defense says 33-year-old David Knadle from Tarrant County and 25-year-old Kirk Fuchigami from Hawaii were providing security for troops on the ground when their helicopter crashed.
“Texas is proud of these brave men who gave the last full measure of devotion to their country. It is appropriate that flags be flown at half-staff in their honor,” said Gov. Abbott in a statement on his website.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. The Taliban claimed to have shot their helicopter down, but preliminary reports indicate it wasn’t caused by enemy fire.
The crash brought the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to 19. There also have been three non-combat deaths this year. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year war.