Military officials notified the family of 23-year old Dean Shaffer that he had been killed in the crash that happened Thursday.
Now, friends are remembering a man who loved to serve, was always standing ready to help anyone who needed him, and whose life was cut far too short.
Jessica Robertson talked to one of her best friends just a few weeks ago on Facebook.
"Everything was going good, he was ready to be home," she explains.
A friend, who she says helped shape most of her life.
"Through JROTC, I met him we went to our first military ball together. We became really good friends after that."
In fact Dean seemed to be a friend to everyone...
"He was by my side with everything. He be by anybody's side if they needed him," Robertson says. "Even when he was in Iraq, or anywhere. He'd still be with you through contact on Facebook or however he could."
Jessica says Dean would do anything to keep in touch, and make sure people knew how much he cared.
Like his jacket he sent back home to Jessica.
A symbol of bond that couldn't be broken.
"I couldn't every lose contact with him. I couldn't imagine my life with out him. Now, I kinda have to," Robertson explains.
The Department of Defense believes the helicopter crash that killed Dean was weather related.
He'd been in Afghanistan since January.
The Army was a path he chose in high school and never looked back.
"He loved it. Happy to serve for friends and family and everybody," Robertson says.
Jessica says dean was proud of his service, and happy to protect the people he loved.
But this tour he was on was his second to Afghanistan.
The one that took his life, the one he was hoping to make his last.
"He was supposed to be done with everything next March, he was gonna get out and go do what he wanted to do in life," she explains. "He wanted to be able to come home to everybody and now, he can't."
Shaffer is the second Pekin High School graduate to die in Afghanistan.
Nineteen-year old Marine Jordan Bastean was killed October 23, 2011 during a combat mission.