FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Eight members of an elite Army regiment who died when their helicopter crashed in the Philippines were remembered Tuesday as heroes who followed their unit's motto: "Night Stalkers don't quit."
"They represented all that was good in life and the tremendous cost associated with ensuring our freedom," said Maj. Dean Heithamp, acting commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
In honor of the soldiers, dark green flight helmets sat atop assault rifles placed next to black combat boots. The soldiers' dog tags were attached to the rifles. Below were portraits of each soldier.
A 21-gun salute followed the ceremony.
The 160th, based at Fort Campbell, is an elite group trained to slip special forces commandos behind enemy lines aboard Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters. The regiment earned the nickname "Night Stalkers" because of its ability to strike undetected in the darkness.
The regiment was recently depicted in the film "Black Hawk Down."
The eight soldiers died while on a counterterrorism training exercise in the southern Philippines. Two Air Force para-rescuemen, assigned to a base in Japan, also died in the crash. Three of the bodies have been recovered.