By OPEC Staff

The son of a Correctional Officer at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) has been killed while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
Richard Essex, 23, son of Correctional Officer Charles Essex, was among 11 people killed August 16 when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, according to media reports. Initial reports indicated the helicopter was shot down.
Charles Essex issued this statement through a family member:
“I am proud of my son because he had the tenacity to go out and do what he did every day knowing the consequences of his duty to his country. That is what an Essex does.”
Richard Essex’ body was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Charles Essex and other family members flew to Dover to be there when the casket arrived, a family spokeswoman said.
Mayme Dyslin, Richard Essex’ aunt, told a local newspaper that Essex left for Afghanistan in September and was due to come home in November.
“He always wanted to be in the military,” she said. “At least he died doing something he loved to do. He was very proud to be a soldier.”