|Sgt. Richard Essex of Kelseyville, Calif., died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Thursday, August 16, 2012. He was 23 years old. Courtesy photo.|
Richard was born on May 6, 1989 in Blythe, Calif.
In 2007, as a junior in high school, he signed up and started basic training with the US Army.
After graduation he enlisted, serving as a 91 Bravo Wheeled Mechanic for three and a half years.
He was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq on Sept. 11, 2009 – Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In January of 2012 Richard was deployed again to Afghanistan – Operation Enduring Freedom, as a UH-60 Black Hawk Door Gunner.
Sergeant Richard Allen Essex was killed in action on Aug. 16, 2012, near Shah Wali Kot, Kandahar Providence in Afghanistan while conducting a combat mission, when his Black Hawk helicopter went down.
Richard earned a host of medals during his service to our country: Bronze Star; Purple Heart; Army Commendation Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star; Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon, 2; Overseas Service Bar, 3; NATO Medal; Combat Action Badge; Basic Aviation Badge; Driver and Mechanic Badge; Combat and Special Skill Badge and Basic Marksmanship Qual Badge – Rifle – Expert.
He is survived by his parents, Brett and Marion Hopkins and Charles and Noella Essex; brother, Michael Essex; sisters, Jennifer (Michael) Williamson and Stacey Hopkins; his nieces, Trinity and Ariana; grandparents, Loretta Dyslin, Wayne and Terri Essex, and Leo and Cookie Ciccone; aunts, Mayme Dyslin and Connie Essex; uncles Willmer Dyslin and Ron Essex; cousins, Thomas and Joshua Dyslin; and many life long friends.
We will miss his smile, his humor and practical jokes, and his big baby blue eyes.
We regret that he never got to meet his niece in person. He will be forever in our hearts.
“Til next time.”
Richard was escorted back to his hometown of Kelseyville on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m. at the Kelseyville High School football field. Gates will be open to the public at 10 a.m.
The public is invited to pay tribute and to celebrate the life of our fallen soldier. Please come and show your support for his family, for our community and for our country.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary.
For further information regarding services please call 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611.