Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Army Chief Warrant Officer Jackie L. McFarlane

Remember Our Heroes

Army Chief Warrant Officer Jackie L. McFarlane, 30, of Virginia Beach, Va.

CWO McFarlane was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; died Aug. 14, 2007 in Taqaddum, Iraq, of injuries suffered during a helicopter crash. Also killed were Chief Warrant Officer Christopher C. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Sean P. Fisher, Staff Sgt. Stanley B. Reynolds and Spc. Steven R. Jewell.

Virginia Pilot -- An Army helicopter pilot from Norfolk was killed in Iraq this week when the chopper he was flying crashed during a routine post-maintenance flight.

Chief Warrant Officer Jackie L. McFarlane, 30, was one of five soldiers who died when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed Tuesday near an air base outside Fallujah. The Department of Defense released the names of the victims Thursday.

The men were members of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49, out of Fort Wainwright, Ala.

The unit had been in Iraq for about a month.

McFarlane was a 1994 graduate of Lake Taylor High School, family friend Kim Johnson said in a phone interview from the McFarlanes' home in Alaska.

He is survived by his wife, Shanaye, a 7 -year-old daughter and a 2 -year-old son.

Shanaye McFarlane, who also attended Lake Taylor, described her husband as high-spirited, supportive and a joy to be around. The couple married as teenagers and celebrated their 13th anniversary last month.

McFarlane joined the Army a few months after graduating from Lake Taylor, where he was a member of the track and field team. Army assignments took them to Germany and then to Fort Bragg, N.C. The family moved to Alaska last summer.

Johnson said McFarlane was a church elder.

"I think he would want you to know that he was a child of God, and then a father, and then a soldier," Johnson said. "His family was utmost to him. His family was his life."

The soldier jealously guarded time with his wife.

"We used to say to him, 'Can Shanaye come out and play?' " Johnson remembered, laughing.

"They were best friends, inseparable best friends."

The crash is under investigation.

"Indications at this point are that it was an unfortunate accident," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Allen, a public affairs officer for the Army's Alaska command.

McFarlane's funeral will be held in Virginia, Johnson said. Arrangements are pending.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Jackie L. McFarlane was killed in action on 8/14/07.

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