Arkansas Soldiers Die in Helicopter Crash in Iraq

JANUARY 22, 2007 - Posted at 4:48 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Family members say two Arkansas soldiers were among the 12 U.S. soldiers killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed Saturday in Iraq.

Captain Michael Taylor of North Little Rock was piloting the helicopter when it went down northeast of Baghdad. That word is from his father-in-law, Sandy Sanders.

Crew chief Gary Brown of Little Rock was on his first day of duty Saturday after returning January 13th from a family visit in Arkansas. Brown's brother Phil Brown says his sibling grew up in Nashville, Arkansas, and was living with his wife and two stepdaughters in Little Rock.

The helicopter crash was the fourth deadliest since the start of the war. The military has not determined the cause of the crash, but has not ruled out hostile fire. The crash occurred during good weather in Diyala province. U-S and Iraqi forces have been battling Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias for months in the province, around the city of Baqouba.


Sanders says the 40-year-old Taylor had been in Iraq for several months and was to return to Arkansas for a family visit in February.

Taylor, who was in the Army Reserves, also served in Desert Storm.

He and his wife, Wendy, have two children, ages eleven and five. He worked in the computer business, and previously worked for the Veterans Administration.

Sanders said his son-in-law loved duck hunting and appreciated life.

Gary Brown, who also served in Desert Storm, began his latest tour in April with training in the U-S before going to Iraq in the late summer. His brother says Gary Brown worked for a tire supply company.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)