New Hampshire Army soldier dies in helicopter crash over Mediterranean Sea
Family remembers Tanner Grone as a friend to all
An Army soldier from New Hampshire died Friday in a helicopter crash over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to the Department of Defense. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire, was one of five U.S. Special Operations Airmen who died in the crash, which occurred while the MH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was conducting a flight. Routine training near Cyprus. Defense Department officials said there is no indication that the crash was caused by enemy or hostile actions.>> Download the free WMUR app for on-the-go updates: Apple | Google Play <
An Army soldier from New Hampshire died Friday in a helicopter crash over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to the Department of Defense.
Sargeant. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire, was one of five U.S. Special Operations Airmen who died in the crash, which occurred while the MH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was conducting a training flight. routine near Cyprus.
Defense Department officials said there is no indication that the crash was caused by enemy or hostile actions.
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Officials described the training flight as in-flight refueling training. They said the helicopter experienced an “in-flight emergency” that caused the crash.
Grone’s family described him as a friend to everyone and a stranger to no one. They said they are grateful for everyone who reached out to them, sharing photos and videos that allowed them to see another side of him.
“He had plans and dreams,” said his father, Steve Grone. “This is not what I expected to happen.”
Tanner Grone didn’t always have his sights set on the military. It was after realizing that college was not the right choice that he researched extensively and he enlisted in July 2017.
“It was scary, very scary,” Steve Grone said.
His family says the military changed him. After his graduation they could see that he behaved differently.
“Watching him across the steps, he found his place,” said his sister, Emily Lemoine.
Tanner Grone was a Black Hawk mechanic with the 160th Nightstalkers, based at Fort Campbell in Tennessee.
His mother said he quickly became friends with those around him, which was just his nature. He and her sister would support each other in a heartbeat, and he loved her husband like a brother.
His parents said they were very proud of the man he became.
“You don’t really realize what a good job you’ve done as a parent until all of a sudden they’ve done something,” his father said.
On Saturday, his parents were out to dinner when they received a call from someone who told them they were in the military and emphasized that he needed to talk to them right away.
They knew their son was deployed, so when they saw a soldier and a police officer at their door, they already knew.
“We lost him,” Steve Grone said. “Our perfect little family. Our perfect little family is no more.”
Last week, Tanner Grone told his parents that this would be his last deployment for a while. He would later start a pilot school in Alabama.
“It was his last deployment,” said his mother, Erica Grone.
The family was flying to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday for a dignified transfer. The Army is coordinating plans for Tanner Grone to return to his home in New Hampshire.
The other four victims of the accident were identified as:
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, age 38, from Clarksville, Tennessee
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, age 34, from Sacramento, California
- Sergeant. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona
- Sergeant. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota
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