Local Soldier Killed in Helicopter Crash

The Department of Defense announced a Heavener, Okla. soldier was among six killed in a helicopter crash in Now Bahar, Afghanistan on Dec. 17.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, 34, was based out of Fort Riley, Kan.

“I was in shock,” said his uncle, Hurschel Billings. “I saw it Tuesday night, where the helicopter went down on the news and I thought I wonder if Randy’s all right .”

CNN reported the Black Hawk was one of two American choppers on a mission in southern Afghanistan. Initial reports said the crew of the downed aircraft came under fire as they tried to get out of the chopper. But military officials report there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time.

“He said Randy was killed in Afghanistan,” said his aunt, Donna Billings. “It was like I had him to repeat it. I was in shock.”

The soldiers were killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The DOD said the crash is under investigation.

“They haven’t told us anything whether it was a mechanical failure or they got shot down,” said Hurschel.

Randy was an only child and leaves behind his wife Ashley. She is with his body.

“Dover Delaware, Dover Air Force Base and it may take fours or five days before they release it,” said Hurschel.

Randy’s family said they will remember him as a hero. No funeral arrangements have been made at this time.



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