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6-30-05 - An Oklahoma man with ties to Durant was killed on Monday in Iraq. 30-year-old Steve Shepard from Purcell, Oklahoma was flying a helicopter that crashed north of Baghdad on Monday.
Before he joined the army, he was an aviation student at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. One of his professors remembers him as a talented pilot and a good student.
When he transferred to Oklahoma State University he was considered the father figure of a 14 member flight team that competed regionally and nationally. Shephard then joined the army three years ago. He left for Iraq in January.
The military is investigating the helicopter crash, but a witness reports seeing a rocket hit the helicopter.
He leaves behind his wife, who will give birth to their first child, a little girl, in three months.