St Cloud, MN (KROC AM News) - One of the Minnesota National Guard soldiers killed in Thursday’s helicopter crash near St. Cloud was a father of a young child and another on the way.

The Guard has released this background information about the three:

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles Paul Nord/MNG

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles Paul Nord was born June 6, 1989, in Breckenridge, Minnesota. He graduated from Perham High School in 2007. He enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard on Aug. 24, 2007, as an M1 armor crewman. In 2016, he became a Warrant Officer as a UH-60 Black Hawk aeromedical evacuation pilot. In May, he returned from a nine-month deployment with the Minnesota National Guard’s Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion to Kuwait, where the unit provided aerial medical evacuation in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. He leaves behind his wife, Kaley, two-year-old daughter, Lydia, and their expected child. He was a resident of Perham, Minnesota.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr/MNG

Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. was born June 23, 1991, in Madelia, Minnesota. He graduated from St. James High School in 2010. He enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard on June 5, 2009, as a field artillery specialist. In 2013, he became a Warrant Officer as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot. In May, he returned from a nine-month deployment with the Minnesota National Guard’s Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion to Kuwait, where the unit provided aerial medical evacuation in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. Rogers was a resident of Winsted, Minnesota.

Sgt. Kort Miller Plantenberg/MNG

Sgt. Kort Miller Plantenberg was born on Mar. 21, 1991, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He graduated from Albany Area High School in 2009. He enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard on Mar. 1, 2016, as an aircraft electrician. In May, he returned from a nine-month deployment with the Minnesota National Guard’s Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion to Kuwait, where the unit provided aerial medical evacuation in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. Plantenberg was a member of the Minnesota National Guard biathlon team and competed in the Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships in 2018. Plantenberg was recently hired as a technician mechanic at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2. He was preparing to start the state warrant officer program in March and then flight school. He was a resident of Avon, Minnesota.

Statement from the family of Sgt. Kort M. Plantenberg:

“This is a time of unimaginable loss, sadness and sorrow for our family. Kort was everything to us — a kind, loving son and brother as well as an incredibly dedicated and loyal friend, neighbor, Correctional Officer and Guardsman. It’s impossible to envision life without him. We are deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love and support from family, friends, the Saint John’s monastic community, and people throughout Central Minnesota and the State. We ask that during this time of grieving that people respect our need for privacy. We want to express our sympathies and offer our prayers to the families of the other two Guardsmen who perished in this unfortunate and tragic accident. We take comfort in our faith, the love of family and friends, and the knowledge that Kort died doing what he loved best: serving his country and pursuing his life-long dream to be a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.”

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