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Whit Johnson ReportingFunerals are being planned for two Utah National Guard pilots who were killed when their helicopter crashed on Monday. James Linder and Clayton Barnes were both soldiers and heroes, but they were also husbands, fathers and sons.
Their helicopter crash is still under investigation, but in the meantime, communities are reaching out in support.
Ray Linder, James' father, said, "It's not often you can be so proud of a son."
Fighting back tears, surrounded by family, Ray Linder talked about his 33-year-old son, James.
Monday night, Utah National Guard pilots James Linder and 30-year-old Clayton Barnes were flying training missions in Fairfield west of Utah Lake when their Apache helicopter went down.
Linder's neighbor Denny Lorange said, "That's what's so unfortunate, he spent a year and a half in Afghanistan then he comes home and something like this happens."
Today Linder's neighbors and friends lined 60 flags along the Sandy streets where he grew up.
His brother Jason said, "Even though he had so much going on and was so successful, family always came first."
Linder was an up-and-coming engineer, a proud husband and a father of three.
Linder's family says his passion for model helicopters illustrates his love for flying and that his military work was more than just a job.
Donna Parry, his sister, said, "The relationship is so good, and that's why the pain is so bad right now."
The family of Clayton Barnes has yet to make a public statement, but his story is similar. He was a young man aspiring to be a dentist. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
The funeral for Clayton Barnes will be on Saturday; James Linder's is Friday. Both flew for the 211th Aviation Battalion. Other members of that company are coming home from Iraq tomorrow.