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BLANDING, San Juan County -- A U.S. military helicopter was shot down Saturday, killing at least 30 Americans. One of those killed was an Elite Navy SEAL from a southeastern Utah community.
Petty Officer First Class Jason Workman, 32, was a member of the Elite Navy SEALs Six team who served in the Navy for eight years. Workman grew up in Blanding and friends say it was his dream to be a Navy SEAL.
He would do anything to help the guy across the table from him. He would give you the shirt off his back. He was just willing to do anything for anybody and he's proven by giving his life to this country.
"He would do anything to help the guy across the table from him," said family friend Rick Eldredge. "He would give you the shirt off his back. He was just willing to do anything for anybody and he's proven by giving his life to this country."
The loss of Workman is a major loss for the tight-knit community where flags are at half-staff. Already, the community has lost two other servicemen in the war.
"This community loved what this young man was doing for us, as well as our other soldiers are doing for us," said Toni Turk, Mayor of Blanding.
Workman returned to his hometown nine months ago to train area police and deputies, and was planning to return in December to do some more training.
On the helicopter shot down by insurgents, 22 were Elite Navy SEALs. Everyone on board was killed, making it the single deadliest loss for U.S. forces in the Afghanistan war. The troops had just completed a rescue mission to help a U.S. Army Ranger unit that was under fire.
Workman leaves behind a wife and a 21-month-old son, who live in Virginia. Sunday morning, the family released a statement thanking everyone for their prayers and support.
"He loved his job and was great at it," the statement read. "Jason was the Best of the Best. Jason was admired by so many and will be dearly missed."
His parents left for Virginia Sunday morning. The flags in front of their home, as well as several others, are at half-staff for their hometown hero.