Master Sgt. Travis Riddick Killed in NATO Helicopter Crash - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Master Sgt. Travis Riddick Killed in NATO Helicopter Crash

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The war in Afghanistan has claimed the life of a Marine with strong ties to Orange County. Family members confirm United State Marine Corps Master Sergeant Travis Riddick was killed in a NATO helicopter crash late Thursday night in Afghanistan. His wife is from the Gordonsville area.

Master Sgt. Riddick was one of six Marines killed when the helicopter they were in crashed in the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.  A senior defense official says there is no indication enemy fire hit the helicopter.

Family members say he grew up in Iowa and met his wife while stationed at the Marine base in Quantico. Friday we talked with Leonard and Mary Ann Cowherd, family members still in the area. They describe their nephew as a gregarious and personable man, and a devoted husband and father. Their thoughts now are with the wife and daughter he leaves behind.

Leonard Cowherd said, "The sadness for me is for her daughter. She's eleven. It's a rough thing for somebody that age, it's a rough thing for anybody, but for an 11-year-old, I can't imagine."

This is not the first time the Cowherds have faced hardship, their son died seven years ago after he was shot by a sniper in battle.

The Department of Defense has not yet officially released the names of those killed during Thursday's crash. Family members say they are not yet aware of any plans for a memorial service.

Master Sgt. Riddick served in the Marine Corps for approximately 20 years. Family members say he had a chance to retire but chose to continue serving.

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