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Kyle E Jackson


U. S. Army


01/13/2006, MOSUL, IRAQ

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Edward Jackson died near Al Sukar, Iraq, when his OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. He died on January 13, 2006. A second Warrant Officer, Kyle’s Co-Pilot was also killed during the attack and crash.

Twenty-eight year old Kyle Jackson was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. He graduated from New Directions High School, an alternative school that has since closed. Before joining the Army, Kyle had served four years in the Marine Corps. Before he settled on becoming a helicopter pilot, Kyle Jackson worked as an assistant manager at a pizza restaurant and installed metal roofs. He also worked for a time in the family’s cabinetmaking business.

The father of two young girls, Kyle Jackson returned to the military joining the Army because he wanted after military service to be a commercial helicopter pilot. His first choice for duty was Korea, but instead he was sent to Iraq. He was the first U.S. serviceman from Sarasota to die in Iraq. While he was apprehensive about going to Iraq, he wanted to do his job the very best he could.

Kyle was an outdoors man and liked typical guy stuff which included shooting guns and riding motorcycles. His decision to go back into the service wasn’t just about flying helicopters he also wanted to serve his country after the 2001 terrorist attacks. So the kid who once wore green spiked hair and a dog collar hit the books, finished officer candidate school in March 2003, and became a chief warrant officer. He then went very proudly on to flight school. When he was awarded his flight wings, it was the proudest moment in his life.

Kyle also distinguished himself as an inventor. He invented a device he called a “brass catcher.” Kyle handmade about 70 and distributed these to other pilots for their use. The device catches shell casings from assault rifles and keeps the casings from getting under the helicopter pedals. His goal was to prevent accidents and improve pilot safety. His family is especially proud of this accomplishment.

Kyle is survived by his wife, Betsy, and their two daughters, Alia and Keira.


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