Family Reactions

Out of nine killed in the downed Blackhawk helicopter in Iraq on Thursday, four called Ft. Carson home.

One was 31 year-old Chief Warrant Officer Phillip Johnson, a native of Alabama. Teachers, like John Butler and Coach Bob Gruber, say he was a popular leader among his peers. "Girls liked him. He was a nice looking young man and they all tried to get his attention ... at least the ones in my class," said Butler. "He was a good, hard worker. The younger kids coming up on the team had to work hard and he'd get on 'em," said Gruber.

Johnson had a wife, but no kids.

Not so, for 26 year-old Specialist Christopher Golby who leaves behind two sons. His brother, Shane, says he loved them very much. "He was happy and always smiling. He loved his family, loved his kids, and loved his job. He did it willingly and with a free spirit and that's how he was called home."

Golby talked to his parents, Ronald and Dawn, by a webcam less than a week ago. The family expects his body will return to Pennsylvania where he will be buried in the next few days.

The other two Fort Carson soldiers are identified as:

  • CW2 Ian D. Manuel, 23, of Florida

  • SPC Michael A. Diraimondo, 22, of Simi Valley, Calif.

    All of them were with the 571st Medical Company (Air Ambulance), based in Fort Carson.