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Afghanistan helicopter crash claims life of Army Sgt. Nicholas Mueller

One of 10 Americans killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan is from the Fox Valley.

Army Sgt. Nicholas Mueller, 26, of Little Chute was the crew chief on a Chinook chopper.

It crashed Monday after leaving a firefight with suspected drug traffickers from the Taliban. A second helicopter crash killed four Americans the same day.

The Pentagon said neither crash appeared to be caused by hostile fire, but the Taliban claimed they shot down a U.S. chopper in the western province of Badghis.

The military did not confirm Mueller's death. His parents said they got the word early Tuesday, when three members of his unit woke them up.

Mueller was part of the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

He was the 11th Wisconsin service member to be killed in Afghanistan.

Mueller graduated from Little Chute High School in 2002 where he wrestled, played football and was on the track team.

His parents, Larry and Sharon Mueller, said their son always wanted to be a fighter pilot, and the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks re-affirmed his career plans.