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Navy SEAL from Edgewater killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash

Patrick D. Feeks one of 11 who died in Aug. 16 crash

By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun

11:27 PM EDT, August 20, 2012

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A Navy SEAL from Edgewater was killed in last week's Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan, defense officials said Monday.

Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, was one of seven Americans killed in the crash Thursday during a firefight with insurgents northeast of Kandahar, officials said. Four Afghans on the helicopter also were killed.

The incident was one of the deadliest air disasters in the nearly 11-year-old war.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting the helicopter down. NATO officials said last week that they were investigating the cause of the crash, but initial indications were that it had not been shot down.

Feeks, who was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group One out of Coronado, Calif., was the eighth service member from Maryland to die this year, and the seventh killed in Afghanistan.

Feeks enlisted in the Navy in March 2006 and was assigned to SEAL Team Three in May 2008. He deployed to Afghanistan last December.

He deployed to Iraq in 2008 and 2010. His awards and decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Feeks leaves his parents, Thomas and Virginia, and his wife, Emily.

A fellow SEAL, Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, Mich., also was killed in the crash. Navy Capt. Collin P. Green, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group One, said, "our hearts go out to the family, friends, and teammates" of Feeks and Warsen.

"They were great warriors, teammates and friends to many of us in the Naval Special Warfare community," he said. "We are all truly blessed that men like Feeks and Warsen answer the call to serve their nation at the highest levels of professionalism and capability."

Also killed in the crash, according to defense officials, were: Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, of Melbourne, Fla.; Chief Warrant Officer Suresh N. A. Krause, 29, of Cathedral City, Calif.; Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson, 32, of Des Moines, Wash.; Sgt. Richard A. Essex, 23, of Kelseyville, Calif.; and Sgt. Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The names of the Afghans — three members of the security forces and a civilian interpreter — were not released.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

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