Sunday, September 25, 2005

Army Sgt. Tane T. Baum

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Tane T. Baum, 30, of Pendleton, Oregon.

Sgt Baum died southwest of Deh Chopan, Afghanistan, when his CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 113th Aviation Regiment, Pendleton, Oregon.

Two Oregon National Guard soldiers who died this week in Afghanistan both loved aviation but had different ideas about going to war, fellow soldiers and family members said Tuesday.

Both men grew up in the Pendleton area, but Baum was older than Stump, with a wife, Tina, and children, ages 6 and 3. He was less enthusiastic about uprooting himself from Pendleton to take part in the Afghan war, but he didn't hesitate.

"He was doing what he wanted to do, and that was fly helicopters, but he would rather be home than fight in a war," said Roseann Mulkey of Pendleton, his sister-in-law. "He was a brave man. You can't get much braver than flying a helicopter in war."

The two men were assigned to Detachment I, Company D, 113th Aviation Battalion, based in Pendleton.

As flight engineer, Baum was responsible for keeping the passengers safe and for making sure the Chinook's engines were running properly. Walker said Baum always could be counted on to do his job.

"Tane was a lot of fun to be around," added Sgt. John Barnedt of Pendleton, who sometimes hunted pheasants with him a few miles from the National Guard Armory in Pendleton.

Baum was an enthusiastic hunter but sometimes got razzed by other guardsmen because he was so much more skillful with a rifle than a shotgun.

Besides his wife and children, Baum's survivors include his father, Danny Baum of Pendleton, and mother, Brenda Davis of Athena. Stump's survivors include his parents, Jerry and Anne Stump of Pendleton.

Pentagon officials said the crash occurred in a mountainous region while the helicopter was returning to a U.S. base after dropping off troops for an operation near Daychopan in southern Zabul province, about 180 miles southwest of the Afghan capital of Kabul. The Pendleton detachment had mobilized in January for a one-year deployment.

It was still not known Tuesday whether the chopper had taken enemy fire. Three other soldiers also died in the crash.

Most family members of the Pendleton men were in seclusion. Other soldiers in Company D/113th Aviation were taking the deaths hard.

"Soldiers do cry," Cummings said. "It is a small, tightly knit unit. They are very close."

Army Sgt. Tane T. Baum was killed in action on 09/25/05.

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