This memorial website was created to honor the memory of Eric W. Totten who died in a helicopter crash on May 05, 2006 with 9 other brave Army soldiers while on a mission in Afghanistan. Eric would have turned 35 in just 5 more days. We will remember his braveness and kind ways forever. Eric loved his family and his military career. He was recently stationed in Ft. Drum, NY and had been stationed in Ft. Cambell, Ky.
Eric loved to fly. He also was very intelligent and talented. Originally, when he joined the military he joined as a musician to play in the band. He played the piano, guitar, clarinet and trumpet but this wasn’t enough for him. He had a great desire to learn and achieve which is why he went on to become an Army Ranger and pilot. In 2000, Eric became a qualified CH-47 pilot. He was sent to Afghanistan in February 2006. This was his second tour of duty to Afghanistan plus he served in Bosnia. In Afghanistan, he was with the 3rd Battalion, 10 Aviation Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. When he was asked why he volunteered to go back, he said " Because I see the good we are doing there".
Eric's military education includes Air assault School; Ranger Course; Airborne School; Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape instructor qualification; Warrant Officer Basic Course; CH-47D aircraft qualification course; Strategic Deployment Scheduler Course and the Unit Movement Officer Course; and the Action Officer Developement Course.
His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-commissioned Officer's Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Air Assault Badge, Army Aviator Badge, Driver/Mechanic Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. Eric, who was a Chief Warrant officer, was flying a Chinook helicopter at night while trying to make a two wheel landing onto a ledge of a steep mountainside in the Kunar Province in Afghanistan. They aren’t positive what happened but think it was either an updraft of wind or the helicopter blades hit a tree or the mountain. His friend said he was the best of the best pilots and volunteered even though he hated night flying. That is so typical of him, he knew they needed him. Eric died in an accident that proved the dedication of one soldier performing his job for others. He was evacuating soldiers to a safer zone.
Our family wishes to thank the unit of Marines that were scheduled to come home but instead, every single one of them volunteered to stay "for as long as it takes" and guard Eric and the other brave men that were killed. We were told they each took a position and circled the crash site then stood guard for two days until the Army could get help up into that rough terrain. God Bless you All. Thank You. Our family also wishes to thank the hundreds of Patriot Guards who came from all over the country. They gave up their time and money to insure that we had a quiet, peaceful family funeral. I cried when I saw how many of them came to honor and protect Eric. Words cannot express how grateful we are to them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. www.patriotguard.com
Tributes and Condolences
Thank you! / Avalon Totten-denton (cousin)
All gave some; some gave all. Forever grateful for your sacrifice and for our friendship!
Brother in Arms / Carl Whyte (soldier)
I have not forgotten those flights in BOBO land, C 7/101st. RIP my brother.
birth / Judith Jackson (sister)
May 10, 2012
May 10, 1971 Eric William was named by our Dad. As a baby, he had his favorite bottle and it had to be the one with certain characters and color or he would throw a fit!! One time when he was about two, the family visited here in Oklaho...
Memory of Eric / Judith Jackson (sister)
I have been going through things and stuff again attempting to organize and distribute items to the various people when I found Eric's Bible. He wrote in it: "I was saved on Sept 12, 1980. The Bible was given to him by our brother, J...
It was an honor / Charles Whitbeck (Escort)
For years now I have taken the time to reflect on my duty as your escort. I often find myself telling others my experience and more importantly the story of you. To be honest when I first received the call my initial gut reaction was ...
Overwhelmed by the Tributes We are so touched and comforted by the tributes, candle and many visitors to this site. It is comforting to know that he touched so many lives in such a short time. HE was so very special to all who knew him. Thank you to all the friends who have shared their memories and pictures with the family.