January 24, 2007 Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
DES MOINES, Iowa -- An Iowa National Guard soldier from Polk City was killed in a Blackhawk helicopter that went down Saturday in Iraq.
Iowa National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood said Sgt. Maj. Marilyn Gabbard, 46, was one of 12 Americans killed on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter at about 2:45 p.m. Baghdad time, northeast of Baghdad. The Pentagon said the chopper was shot down by a shoulder-fired missile.
Hapgood said that of the 12 servicemembers killed in the crash, 10 were from the Army National Guard and two were active duty Army soldiers.
She was on a six-month tour of duty and was deployed in December 2006. She was a non-commissioned officer in charge of the National Guard Affairs Team in Baghdad.
Gabbard is a 27-year veteran of the Iowa National Guard. She began as a private in Boone.
She was promoted to Command Sergeant Major on April 1, 2001, and became the Iowa National Guard's first female Command Sergeant Major and only the second woman promoted to Sergeant Major in the Iowa National Guard, a news release said.
Gabbard is survived by her husband, Edward; daughter Melissa (Ben) Danielson; stepson Terry (Cathy) Gabbard; stepdaughters Sherri Gabbard, Kerri (Rick) Wilson, Gerri Gabbard, Mari Jo (Harold) Scott, and Deborah (Michael) Pommier; her mother, Mary Van Cannon; sister, Marla Noren; and brothers Mark Van Cannon and Mike (Carol) Van Cannon; her grandchildren, Benjamin and Austin Danielson; and stepgrandchildren, Paul Gabbard, Sunnie (Sean) Robinson, Christopher Gabbard, Cassandra, Brianne and Courtney Wilson, Jessica and Jeremy Scott, and Kayla Pommier, the news release said.
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