Hometown Funeral For Ft. Bragg Soldier Killed In "Friendly Fire"


More than 700 people have attended the funeral of a southern Ohio soldier killed in what has been described as a friendly fire airstrike in Afghanistan.

Army Specialist Justin Helton, of Beaver, was among five U.S. soldiers killed June 9 while serving in a joint security operation in southern Afghanistan.

A brigadier general who spoke at Monday's funeral for the 25-year-old soldier described Helton as a guy who always knew what to do. The officer says men who served with Helton said his wit always cut the tension.

The funeral was at Helton's former high school in Beaver. Helton was based out of Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

The Pentagon has said investigators are looking into the likelihood that the five soldiers' deaths were caused by friendly fire.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


A cousin says a 25-year-old soldier from southern Ohio was one of five American troops killed this week during an airstrike in southern Afghanistan.

Mindy Helton says military representatives visited Justin Helton's parents' home in Beaver early Tuesday to inform them of his death.

A Pentagon spokesman says five troops were killed Monday during "a security operation" and the likelihood that friendly fire caused their deaths is under investigation.

Mindy Helton is Justin Helton's cousin by marriage. She says his immediate family isn't commenting publicly.

She says the soldier specialized in dealing with explosives and was based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She says he had been in Afghanistan about two months and was engaged to be married.

She says he had been in the Army since 2010.