Kenya Native Dies in a U.S. Army Chopper Crash in Afghanistan
A Kenya native enlisted in the United States Army died on Wednesday, September 5th in a helicopter crash while serving in the Afghanistan war. Thalia Ramirez Moll, 28, who is half Kenyan and half Puerto Rican, was an army pilot and was flying a Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopter before it crashed in the Pul-e Alam district of Logar Province in Afghanistan.
Thalia grew up in Kenya and attended both primary and high school at the Breaburn School. Her mother is Kenyan while her father is half Puerto Rican.
Her great passion for helicopters and the army led her to enlist in the U.S. army shortly after coming to the United States.
Her yearlong tour of duty in Afghanistan was almost over, and she was expected back in the U.S. from deployment this week.
Thalia was the only African female helicopter pilot in the U.S. army and was earlier this year promoted to a rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2. She served in the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division based at the Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina. and had flown more than 20 missions and 650 hours in the course of he one-year deployment, according to dvidshub.net.
A second soldier, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officers 2 Jose Montenegro Jr who was flying with Thalia in the helicopter was also killed in the crash. The U.S. Department of Defense is still investigating the cause of the crash, though The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility saying they brought down the chopper.
Thalia leaves behind her husband, Jesse Belbeck, in the United States, and her mother and father, Justin Ramirez and Alexandra Moll, in Kenya.
â€œShe was a true quiet professional, and an incredible role model to so many,â€ said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Landy Dunham, commander, Task Force Talon, 82nd CAB, 82nd Airborne Division. â€œThalia never failed to set the perfect example of a confident and competent warrior. She was fearless, and loved her job. She selflessly risked everything, on a regular basis, in defense of her brothers and sisters in arms.â€