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Please begin with an informative title:

Tonight we honor an Army pilot who died in Afghanistan.

Since 2001, 2190 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan; since 2003, 4486 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Iraq.

The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a remembrance of U.S. servicemembers who will not be coming home from war.

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                                                                                       ~ Photo Credit Timroff

The Department of Defense has announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Chief Warrant Officer James E. Groves III, 37, of Kettering, Ohio, died March 16 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in a helicopter crash. He was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division Hunter Army Airfield, GA.
The incident is under investigation. Mechanical failure is suspected; pilot error is not a consideration. A second pilot in the aircraft is in critical but stable condition.

Please join me for a remembrance of the life of Chief Warrant Officer James E. Groves III.

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Chief Warrant Officer James E. Groves III

Chief Warrant Officer James E. Groves III was born in Columbus, OH, on Nov. 7, 1975. The family moved to Kettering in 1978. He played baseball while growing up in Kettering and football for Fairmont High School. At Fairmont, one of his assignments for the student television station was to interview military recruiters.

His mother, Leslie Groves, said,

“He talked to recruiters at all four branches and decided that the Army offered the best deal. He grew up around it. Both of his grandfathers were in the Army during World War II. His father was in the Army Reserve when we were first married.”
Following his graduation in 1994, James enlisted in the Army. He attended officer training school. He served as a Kiowa pilot and was an instructor pilot. His resume included included military intelligence and air assault.

According to his mother, he was just one year away from retirement, and was due to return in September from this, his fourth deployment. He was deployed twice to Iraq, and this was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His mother said James was stationed in Colorado when he met Katie, who would become his wife. Their fifteen-year wedding anniversary would have been this year. His mother said,

"They were both runners and loved going on cruises. Katie took him on a cruise for his birthday last November. He was home for Thanksgiving. He left in December. That was the last time we saw him.”

Katie and James (family photo)

At the time of his deployment, James lived in Savannah, GA with his wife Katie and their two sons, James IV, age 12, and Shane, age 9.


2009 family photo of James and Katie Groves and their sons

Many people have paid tribute to James on the Dayton Daily News guestbook. It's obvious from the messages that he was loved by many people. Some of the entries:

We are truly saddened in the loss of James. I remember him as a lanky child from baseball & football when he and Jason were buddies in school.He became a second son since he was around our house for many years. We thank him for the service to our country and will forever indebted to his courage and conviction.
He is a true hero, and one great man. I had the privilege of waiting on him in the morning at Starbucks. He always had a smile and was so pleasant to chat with when he came in. He will be greatly missed.
I have had the great pleasure of knowing the Groves family for 13 years. James was a great man, soldier, son, father, brother and husband. He will be greatly missed by many many people.
From his unit in Afghanistan:
We, the Cavalry, will always remember the joy you brought when times were grim, the wisdom you brought when the times were challenging, the smile, and the famous mustache. You were a friend to all and in all you have a troop that mourns. But we fear not for we will reassemble Half way down the Trail and share the memories and tales. 12 ounces of Murphy's Stout poured on the ground. I wish the best for you on the next journey and the best for your family still on this journey. In a future moment, we will meet again upon the fields of Fiddler's Green. Until then, Chief, I bid you farewell.
I'm proud to have shared a cockpit with James and to call him my friend. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. He will be missed dearly.
Sheath your saber and spur your horse no more. You have reached the green and your battle is won. Ride easy with our brothers and save room for the rest of us. God speed.
From another fellow pilot in his unit:
"Many of you are probably wondering what you can do to send flowers, or offer condolences for James... Before we deployed, all of us filled out a last wishes packet in the event this sort of thing happened. James' wish was that everyone make donations (instead of sending flowers) to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Please consider making donations to this organization in his name. ...  Just understand this was James' wish to benefit his family in a lasting way if he was gone, and to benefit as many people as possible. If you knew James, you know it is exactly like him to think that way."
Before leaving on his fourth deployment, James toured Arlington National Cemetery while in Washington, D.C., last fall to run the Marine Corps Marathon. He told his wife, Katie, that he wanted to be buried there if he died in military service.

Following a memorial service at Kandahar, his body was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where his wife and sons awaited his final arrival home. He will be buried in Arlington. A service at Hunter is also planned.

Chief Warrant Officer Groves' awards include the Air Medal.



Kiowa-OH Warrior

Rest in peace, Chief Warrant Officer James E. Groves III. You have served with honor.

~LINK~~LINK~~LINK~~LINK~~LINK~
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"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, JaxDem, and me, Ekaterin.

These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.

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Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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