WASHINGTON – Pentagon leaders are mourning the deaths of 38 U.S. and Afghan troops killed when their helicopter crashed Saturday, likely shot down by insurgents over eastern Afghanistan.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he is deeply saddened by the loss, and vowed that the U.S. will stay the course to complete the mission to make the world a safer place.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the best way to honor their sacrifice is to keep fighting. He asks for patience as the military works to notify families of their losses. He says the troops' deaths aren't just statistics, and everything should be done to support the families.
It is the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.