A Central California soldier was among 14 killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in northern Iraq - the second tragedy for his family, who lost another son to the war three years ago, family friends said.
The family of Spc. Nathan Hubbard, 21, was taking his death on Wednesday "very, very hard," said Clovis police spokeswoman Janet Stoll-Lee, who spoke on behalf of the Hubbards. The soldier's father, Jeff Hubbard, is a retired 30-year veteran of the police department.
Hubbard's UH-60 helicopter went down during a nighttime mission in the Tamim province that surrounds Kirkuk, an oil-rich city 180 miles north of Baghdad, said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a military spokesman in northern Iraq.
He said facts gathered indicated it was almost certainly due to a mechanical problem and not hostile fire, although the final cause remained under investigation. The military did not immediately release the soldiers' identities pending notification of relatives.
Nathan Hubbard was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, where officials said 10 of the soldiers killed in the crash were based.
The Hubbards lost Nathan's older brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Hubbard, to a roadside bomb in downtown Ramadi in 2004.
CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier reports that after Jared died, Nathan, along with his younger brother Jason, decided to fight back. They joined the Army, completing basic training at Fort Benning, and together, deployed to Iraq.
"These were aggressively committed young men, to their friends, their family, whatever sports activity or event that they were participating in," says local clergy member Rev. Tim Rolen of New Hope Community Church.
Their mother, Peggy, told the Fresno Bee in a 2005 interview that she believed Jason joined in part to protect Nathan after not being there to help Jared.
The brothers said at the time that they didn't worry about dying in the war.
"People are going to be hurt, and people are going to be killed," Nathan Hubbard told the Bee. "That is a reality you have to accept, but not dwell on."
Jason has left his unit in Iraq, to join his family in California at this difficult time, reports Dozier.
Army officials tell CBS News that in a case like this, no branch of the U.S. military will force family members to fight on.
So now, when the funeral is over, Jason will have to face the choice of how to best honor his brothers' sacrifice and his family's loss: go back to Iraq or stay home.
Keith Butterfield, a family friend, said the Hubbards were worried for their sons but proud because they knew they were committed to going on behalf of their fallen brother.
"There is nothing anyone can say to make it better, but it's good to know that there are other families that can help you cope," said Butterfield, who became close to the Hubbards after his own son died in Iraq last year. "It's bringing up the feelings of everyone else's loss, but we will be there for them."
The tragedy has echoes of another sorrow, from World War II - the combat deaths of the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa, killed when the Navy ship on which they served was sunk in November 1942.
Their story was told in the 1944 movie "The Sullivans" and was an inspiration for the fictional tale that unfolds in the 1998 film "Saving Private Ryan."
Two destroyers were named The Sullivans in memory of the five brothers. The most recent ship, commissioned in 1997 as part of the Atlantic fleet, has the motto: "We stick together."
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