Nightly News   |  December 19, 2013

Remembering the Americans killed in Afghanistan Blackhawk crash

New information is surfacing about the soldiers killed in the single largest loss of life for foreign troops in Afghanistan in almost six months. Five of the soldiers trained together – and were based in Ft. Riley in Kansas, the Pentagon announced. NBC’s Rehema Ellis reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are learning more tonight about the terrible loss of six american lives overseas in a single blackhawk helicopter crash in afghanistan. tonight we know who the young men were. nbc's rehema ellis has more on the lives lost.

>> reporter: five of the six soldiers killed were based at fort reilly in kansas. as seen in this video that's where they trained together. among them, 29-year-old sergeant peter bowler , helicopter crew chief , the oldest of three children was the from willow spring , north carolina , and came from a long line of soldiers. when she learned of his death, his mother debra wrote on facebook, at 5:30 this morning my heart shattered into a million pieces. dear god , give us strength to get through this pain. a family friend said bohler was doing all the right things.

>> a young man in the prime of life , serving his country, doing the right things. snuffed out.

>> reporter: 30-year-old jesse williams was from elk hart, indiana. according to the newspaper he was on his third deployment to afghanistan. his mother told reporters her son was big and strong. he didn't let things get him down. williams leaves behind 6-year-old madison who le met for the first time in 2008 while home on leave. terry gordon was from mississippi. 35-year-old joshua silverman called scottsdale, arizona his hometown. 34-year-old chief warrant officer randy billings was from the oklahoma. and 28-year-old sergeant first class omar ford was from marietta, georgia. families still wait for answers into the cause of the crash that took so many cherished lives. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york.