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Memorial to honor fallen soldiers planned

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

A memorial is being constructed in Reno to honor Nevada National Guardsmen killed in a 2005 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The ceremony to break ground for the memorial in tribute to the Nevada Army Guard’s Mustang 22 crew and helicopter will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Army Aviation Support Facility, 20,000 Army Aviation Dr., next to the Stead Airport.

The Mustang 22 Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on Sept. 25, 2005. Five soldiers, Chief Warrant Officer John Flynn, Warrant Officer Adrian Stump, Staff Sgt. Patrick Stewart, Staff Sgt. Tane Baum and Sgt. Kenneth Ross were killed in action.

Flynn and Stewart were in the Nevada Army Guard. Bane and Stump were from Oregon, and Ross was from Arizona.

Stewart, 35, was a Nevada native and graduated from Washoe High in 1989. He enlisted in the Nevada Army Guard in 2002. He had more than 11 years of military experience.

Stewart married his wife, Roberta, on Nov. 22, 2003, in an outdoor ceremony in the Virginia Highlands. He and Roberta resided in Fernley.

Among his numerous military decorations, Stewart was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal.

Flynn, 36, a resident of Sparks, enlisted in the Nevada Army Guard in 1988. He completed warrant officer school in 1992 and subsequently became an instructor pilot.

Flynn, who was also a civilian contractor, was married and had two young children.

The helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade during an operation against Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan near DehChopan.

The memorial was paid for through private donations.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony.