Sunday, September 25, 2005

Army Warrant Officer Adrian B. Stump

Remember Our Heroes

Army Warrant Officer Adrian B. Stump, 22, of Pendleton, Oregon.

Warrent Officer Stump 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.

Warrant Officer Adrian B. Stump, 22, was co-pilot, and Sgt. Tane T. Baum, 30, was flight engineer on a military CH-47 Chinook helicopter when it crashed Sunday.

Stump was a newly minted graduate of a helicopter flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala. He joined the Oregon Guard while in high school and didn't want to miss going to Afghanistan, said Oregon Guard Maj. Thomas Lingle, himself a veteran of the Afghan war.

"He obviously loved aviation, loved the organization, loved being around these people," Lingle said.

Shortly before learning to fly, Stump served as a helicopter crew member in a dramatic Oct. 6, 2003, rescue of a fallen civilian climber at 13,000 feet in California's rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. He later told guard members that the rescue was one of his proudest moments.

"He was a perfect candidate for flight school," said Staff Sgt. Scott Doran of Pendleton. "Certain people are cut out for flying. He was."

Stump was "just a go-getter," said Chief Warrant Officer Doug Walker, the Chinook instructor-pilot who flew the rescue mission. "There was nothing bad you could say about the kid."

Adrian Stump was 17 when he joined the National Guard.

The summer between his junior and senior years at Pendleton High School, he attended basic training in South Carolina. Stump graduated from PHS in 2002 and went to flight school to fulfill his dream of piloting the Chinook helicopters he first saw in the sky of his hometown.

Upon his graduation from flight school in 2004, he began lobbying to join his comrades from the Pendleton armory in Afghanistan.

His wish was granted and he arrived in Afghanistan in April.

In a relatively short period of time, Stump had logged more than 300 hours of flying time, played a significant role in a harrowing mountain-top rescue and became a seasoned combat pilot.

“(He) brightened our dusty, long days in Kandahar,” Chief Warrant Officer Dave Long of Pendleton said of his fallen comrade at Stump’s funeral.

Stump was "one of the good ones," said his aunt, Maggie Daly of Portland. "He was just a great kid."

Daly and her family gathered Sunday in Pendleton to honor her father -- Adrian Stump's grandfather -- on his 70th birthday. But after hearing about the crash, Daly said Stump's mother called in her regrets, saying she wanted to wait to see whether more information would emerge

As it turned out, the day brought the worst news for the family.

Stump "wanted to fly helicopters since he was 17," Daly said Monday. "He was doing what he wanted to do."

Army Warrant Officer Adrian B. Stump was killed in action on 09/25/05.

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