A funeral service is scheduled today for a Pennsylvania National Guard pilot killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Guard officials say 27-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Jarett Yoder of Mohnton and 34-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Ruffner of Harrisburg were killed when their helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance mission earlier this month.
Funeral director Michael Feeney says a public gathering for Yoder will be held at Calvary United Church of Christ tonight at 7 p.m. He will be laid to rest Monday at the Forest Hills Memorial Park in Exeter Township.
A procession escorted Yoder's remains from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to the John Feeney Funeral Home in Reading on Friday.
Yoder graduated from Oley Valley High School in Oley, Pennsylvania back in 2005 and attended Reading Community College. He joined the military in 2005, first serving in Company C, 1st Battalion 111th Infantry as an infantryman. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008 with Company C and the rest of the 56th Stryker Brigade. In 2010, he served as an aviation life support equipment officer and Apache pilot. His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Driver and Mechanic Badge.
Yoder’s wife, Heather, says the pilot died doing what he loved.
“He always dreamed of being an Apache pilot and he followed those dreams to continue to fight for our country,” Heather told NBC10.com. “Jarett is my American Hero,” said Heather. “Jarett died doing what he loved and dreamed of doing, a true hero. There are so many people who love him and we will never forget. I love you, always and forever.”
Funeral services for Ruffner were held in Punxsutawney.