SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has ordered flags at half-staff at all state buildings until sunset Friday, honoring two men from Shreveport who were among thirty service members killed when insurgents shot down an Army helicopter in Afghanistan.
On Saturday, Jim Reeves confirmed that his son, 32-year-old Chief Petty Officer Robert Reeves died in the crash. Reeves' good friend and fellow Navy SEAL from Shreveport, 32-year-old Lt. Commander Jonas Kelsall also died in the resulting crash.
Both Reeves and Kelsall were graduates of Caddo Magnet High School. They grew up together, went to school together, played soccer, and both became SEALs. Jonas Kelsall was the officer in charge of the mission.
On Monday, Caddo Public Schools issued a statement, saying, "The Caddo family was saddened to learn of the loss of two of its Magnet graduates, Chief Petty Officer Robert James (Rob) Reeves and Lt. Cmdr. Jonas Kelsall, in the line of duty. We are privileged to have known these heroic young men and are grateful that their families entrusted us with their education...Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kelsall and Reeves families during this difficult time."
The father of one of the men killed has placed several American flags in his yard in honor of the sacrifice his son made for his country. Neighbors, many of them still shocked over the sudden loss, have decided to show their support by also displaying red, white and blue.
"I'm proud of them. They died doing what they wanted to do, protecting us, and keeping us safe," said Gerri Woolbert.
"People just didn't know what to say. The war comes home to you when it is a neighbor, when it is a hometown boy. Here we've lost two of them on the same team. We just don't know what to do," said John Shaughnessy.
Insurgents shot down the U.S. military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, most of them belonging to the same elite Navy SEALs unit that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as seven Afghan commandos, U.S. officials said Saturday. It was the deadliest single loss for American forces in the decade-old war.
A joint service is expected to take place for the entire team in Arlington, Virginia. A date has not yet been set. Plans are under way for services in Shreveport, as well. St. Marks Cathedral confirms that they will hold a memorial service for Robert James Reeves on Saturday, August 13th at 11:00 a.m.