Nathan C. Hubbard – Corporal, United States Army

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

August 23, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 14 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died August 22, 2007, in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed.

Killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington:

  • Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Georgia.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina
  • Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California
  • Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri

Also killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii:

  • Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, Califprnia
  • Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas
  • Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts
  • Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois
  • Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, 20, of Mentor, Ohio
  • Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California
  • Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Specialist Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri
  • Speialist Tyler R. Seideman, 20, of Lincoln, Arkansas

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Group Burial Funeral Services: Friday, 24 October 2008: Arlington National Cemetery

  • RICKEY L BELL, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
  • PAUL J FLYNN, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
  • MICHAEL A HOOK, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
  • JASON L PATON, Staff Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00

Honoring Fallen 14 With ‘Quiet Strength'
By Mark Berman
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Four Black Hawk helicopters skimmed overhead against the backdrop of a gray, cloudy sky. Below, more than 150 people brought together by tragedy and united in grief gathered yesterday to pay tribute to 14 soldiers honored at Arlington National Cemetery.

The soldiers were killed August 22, 2007, in a helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq. Each had been buried separately. But 14 months after the accident, which was caused by mechanical failure, family and friends bundled together on a chilly October morning for a group tribute.

The mourners followed a horse-drawn caisson bearing a single flag-cloaked silver coffin up Bradley Drive. The coffin was carried to Section 60 of the cemetery and placed amid a bevy of red, white and blue flowers.

As part of the service, folded flags were given to parents and siblings, widows and a best friend. Each flag was touched for a moment to the coffin before being handed to the loved ones of the fallen soldiers.

The soldiers were between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. They hailed from 11 states, spanning from California to Massachusetts.

Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Woodbine, Georgia, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 and had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2006. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina, was a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with a decade of service.

The eldest soldier, Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California, was a tall, easygoing man and a devoted father, family members told the Los Angeles Times.

The youngest soldiers were Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, of Mentor, Ohio, and Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, of Lincoln, Arkansas, both 20. Harmon, a medic, had married his wife, Kristin, 84 days before his death, she told the News-Herald in Ohio. Seideman, who loved to joke, was a generous person who would “give you the shirt off his back if you needed it,” said his best friend, Jeremy Bolivear, at a memorial service honoring the soldier, according to the Morning News in Arkansas.

Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri, joined the military in 2005 after graduating from high school.

Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was selfless, kind and too modest to boast about his accomplishments, his family said in a statement last year. “Therefore, we will honor him with quiet strength,” relatives said.

Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, California, was to be married November 18, 2007, family members told the Los Angeles Times. He had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before, and his second deployment to Iraq was scheduled to end three weeks after the helicopter crash.

Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas, liked surfing, skateboarding and playing soccer. He enlisted shortly after his birthday in May 2002 because of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Rockport Pilot.

Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts, was a jokester and a loyal, dedicated man who loved his wife Amanda, son Caleb and the Boston Red Sox. Nearly 1,000 mourners attended his funeral last year, according to the Boston Globe.

Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois, was “the life of the party,” a friend wrote on the guest book of a Web site dedicated to his memory.

Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California, was one of three brothers serving in Iraq. Marine Lance Corporal Jared Hubbard was killed in 2004, so Nathan and Jason Hubbard enlisted to honor their brother's sacrifice. Jason Hubbard was in the same platoon as Nathan and in a helicopter ordered to secure the crash site, according to CNN.

Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, was excited to come home because his fiancee, Susan Fetterman, was pregnant, according to the Altoona Mirror. Mere weeks after the crash, she gave birth to their son, Mason.

Corporal Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri, embraced and believed in what he was doing and would tell family members about jumping out of planes at night, they told the Associated Press.

Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Yesterday's burial brought to 447 the number of Iraq war casualties buried, memorialized or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery.

Courtesy of The Contra Costa Times
26 August 2007:

Early in the Iraq war, Jeff and Peggy Hubbard faced the news that every parent with a child at war dreads — the death of their son Jared, a Marine, killed alongside his best friend.

Two years, nine months and 18 days later, they faced another grim-faced officer. This time, it was their youngest, Army Corporal Nathan Hubbard, 21, dead in a helicopter crash in Iraq.


A third brother, Jason, was on another helicopter in the same unit and was at the crash site. He accompanied his brother's body on a flight out of Iraq and was on his way home for the funeral.

The family has been told that, if he requests it, Jason Hubbard will be discharged or given a noncombat assignment under an Army policy governing sole surviving siblings and children of soldiers killed in combat, said Tim Rolen, a family friend and pastor who co-presided at Jared Hubbard's funeral on Veteran's Day 2004.

“In all of our minds, we have an order of the way things go. The death of a child is out of order. You now have a family that has lost two,” Rolen said. “One doesn't prepare you for another one.”

Nathan was barely out of high school when a roadside bomb killed Jared and Jared's best friend. Nathan tattooed his brother's initials on his arm, described him as his hero and enlisted to pick up where his big brother left off.

With a yearlong tour of duty almost behind him, he was making plans to meet his buddies in Hawaii, where he was stationed, when the Black Hawk helicopter carrying him and 13 other soldiers had mechanical problems and crashed during a night flight. There were no survivors.
Jason Hubbard, 33, had resigned as a Fresno County sheriff's deputy to join the Army at the same time Nathan did. At their request, the two were assigned to the same unit, the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division based on Oahu.

Jason was riding in another helicopter when the Black Hawk went down. He told his wife by telephone that he was part of the crew assigned to search the wreckage, according to Rolen.

He accompanied Nathan's body on a military aircraft from Iraq to Kuwait, then on to California.

Flags were lowered to half-staff outside homes, stores and municipal buildings Friday all over Clovis, a city of 90,000 next to Fresno.

For many people in the town, the Hubbard family's tragedy elicited echoes from two movies — “Saving Private Ryan,” which depicted the search for a paratrooper whose three brothers have already died in World War II, and “Legends of the Fall,” one of Nathan Hubbard's favorite films, about the death of the youngest of three Montana brothers who went off to battle during World War I.

The military does not track families with more than one child serving in Iraq or cases in which casualties have resulted in a service member's discharge or change in combat status, said Lieutenant Jonathan Withington, a Department of Defense spokesman.

Buchanan High Principal Don Ulrich remembered Nathan Hubbard, a 2004 graduate, as a happy-go-lucky student and junior varsity wrestler who made friends easily. Counselors sent to the school Thursday were mostly visited by teachers and staff members who remembered the deaths of 2001 graduates Jared Hubbard and his friend, Jeremiah Baro.

“It is very difficult to comprehend the loss this Buchanan family has endured. All we can do is support Nathan and his brothers' commitment to serving their country and keep the family in our prayers,” Ulrich said.

The Hubbards, who also have a daughter, Heidi, 31, asked for privacy. Jeff Hubbard is a retired Clovis police officer and a uniformed officer was posted outside their door. Captain Drew Berrington, a longtime friend whose son grew up with Jared Hubbard, said the family's double tragedy had unsettled the most hardened veterans.

“It's difficult for us, even though we are people who deal with disturbing situations on a daily basis. It gets under our armor, even though we deal with death all the time,” Berrington said.

Rolen said Jeff and Peggy Hubbard had conflicting emotions when Nathan and Jason enlisted six months after their brother's death. The parents were proud but wanted to make sure the sons were doing it for the right reasons and understood the risks, he said.

“Any parent who has lost a child in this manner would say, ‘Be sure.' This is a family that is strong on commitment,” he said.

In an interview with he Fresno Bee shortly before he left for basic training in 2005, Nathan Hubbard said he knew the dangers but did not worry about dying.

“My brother — my parents' son — will always be in our hearts, and we'll always remember him and we'll always think of him and all that, but we've got to move on, and that's what we are doing,” he said.

Nathan is to be buried late this coming week with full military honors at Clovis Cemetery, where his brother and Baro were buried side by side.

On Friday, at their first regular season game, members of Buchanan High School's football team plan to wear five stars on their helmets, one in honor of each graduate who has died in Iraq, school district spokeswoman Kelly Avants said.

Army conducts full-honors burial for Hubbard, 13 others in 2007 crash
By Michael Doyle
Courtesy of The Fresno Bee
24 October 2008

The Army buried Fresno, California, native Nathan Hubbard this morning, for the second time. In an extended full-honors service at Arlington National Cemetery, the Army interred Hubbard and 13 other soldiers who died in an August 2007 helicopter crash in Iraq.

The service began at the cemetery's chapel and included a Black Hawk helicopter flyover, as soldiers used a horse and caisson to convey a single casket carrying commingled remains from the 14 soldiers. Each had previously received an individual burial following their deaths. As part of the service Friday, Nathan's father Jeff received an American flag from a member of the Army's Old Guard.

Nathan Hubbard's brother Jared was a Marine who also died in Iraq. The third brother Jason, now a Fresno County deputy sheriff, survived his own Iraq tour and was honorably discharged early from the Army. Jason Hubbard's struggles to obtain health and educational benefits following his early discharge prompted Congress to pass the so-called Hubbard Act that guarantees such benefits to other sole survivors.

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