Father: E. Tenn. airman killed in Afghanistan 'bravest human I’ve ever met'

By: Lauren Davis and Nick Bona Email
By: Lauren Davis and Nick Bona Email

UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) – An East Tennessee serviceman was killed in a NATO helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The Department of Defense says Senior Airman Benjamin Daniel White, 24 of Erwin, Tenn. He was one of four pararescue unit members killed in the June 9 crash near Forward Operating Base Jackson in Afghanistan.

Anthony White told WVLT Volunteer TV News on Thursday night that his son was always a pleasure to be around and frequently put others before himself.

He was a four year veteran of the Air Force and deployed to Afghanistan just six weeks ago.

White also told us that Benjamin served as a medic with the 48th Rescue Squadron, which is tasked with flying into combat zones to pick up and treat wounded Marines.

“He was just an exceptional human and I am proud of him,” said his father. “He had a tattoo on his back that said, ‘greater love hath no man than would give his life for his friend.’ That is what my son did. He was the bravest human I’ve ever met."

White leaves behind his mother and father along with a sister and brother.

His body was due to return to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Friday, where arrangements will be made to have it transported back to Unicoi County.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

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PREVIOUS STORY:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An East Tennessee serviceman is dead after a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, 24, or Erwin, Tenn., was killed in the June 9 crash Forward Operating Base Jackson in Afghanistan.

White served in the U.S. Air Force. He was assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Also killed were Staff Sgt. Michael P. Flores, 31, of San Antonio, Texas, and 1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz, 25, of Grass Lake, Mich.


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