Wash. army pilot killed in Afghanistan

This image provided by the U.S. Army shows Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash., who was an Apache pilot. According to the Army, Blanchard, with the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, was killed in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, on April 23, 2013, from wounds sustained from enemy indirect fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)
This image provided by the U.S. Army shows Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash., who was an Apache pilot. According to the Army, Blanchard, with the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, was killed in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, on April 23, 2013, from wounds sustained from enemy indirect fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The mother of a Fort Drum Army helicopter pilot who grew up in Washington says he was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan.

Laura Schactler of Selah told the Yakima Herald-Republic that 32-year-old Aaron Blanchard and another soldier were killed at a forward operating base by missile fire. He had been in Afghanistan about a week before he was killed.

The deaths have not been officially announced by the Defense Department.

Blanchard leaves a wife and two young children in New York state and his parents and brothers in Washington.

A 1999 graduate of Selah High School, Blanchard served two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine before becoming an Army pilot to fly an Apache Longbow. He was based at Fort Drum in New York in 2011.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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