BRCC Holds Fundraiser in Wake of Black Hawk Crash Near Fort Campbell

April 6, 2023Katie McCarthy
brcc fundraiser fort campbell

Two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, part of the 101st Airborne Division, crashed around 10 p.m. Wednesday in Trigg County, Kentucky, near Fort Campbell. By Polifoto/Adobe Stock.

Black Rifle Coffee Company is holding a fundraiser this weekend to support the families of nine soldiers who died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash near Fort Campbell last week.

Around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, part of the 101st Airborne Division, crashed in Trigg County, Kentucky, just north of Fort Campbell. There were no survivors, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation. To support the families, BRCC’s Fort Campbell outpost, located at 2570 Wilma Rudolph Blvd. in Clarksville, Tennessee, is donating 100% of all sales generated on Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, to the Screaming Eagle Aviation Association.

The SEAA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports Screaming Eagle Aviation soldiers of the 101st and 159th Combat Aviation Brigades and is directly supporting the families of the nine fallen soldiers. 

The nine fallen soldiers, clockwise from top left: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, Cpl. Emilie Bolanos, Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, Staff Sgt. Joshua Gore, Sgt. David Solinas, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, Sgt. Isaac Gayo, and Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy. US Army photos, released.

Several days after the incident, the Army released the names of the soldiers:

  • Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33, of Milton, Florida 
  • Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, of Austin, Texas 
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, of Jackson, Missouri 
  • Sgt. Isaac John Gayo, 27, of Los Angeles 
  • Staff Sgt. Joshua C. Gore, 25, of Morehead City, North Carolina 
  • Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32, of Cape Coral, Florida 
  • Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30, of Mountain Brook, Alabama 
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, of Rolla, Missouri 
  • Sgt. David Solinas Jr., 23, of Oradell, New Jersey

“We thought about sending product to the families, and that didn't feel like enough,” said Casey Currey, BRCC senior marketing manager. “We really wanted to help the families that are left behind after losing their loved ones, so we felt like the best way was through a donation and fundraiser — to get people in an outpost and bring the community together. It's not just Black Rifle, but we're integrating the community to give back to veterans.” 

On Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, 100% of all sales at BRCC's Clarksville, Tennessee, outpost will be donated to the Screaming Eagle Aviation Association, which directly supports the families of those killed in the March 29, 2023, Black Hawk Crash near Fort Campbell. Black Rifle Coffee Company photo.

BRCC’s Mat Best and country rocker Tim Montana will make appearances at the Fort Campbell outpost this weekend as well. The two will meet with patrons, and Montana will perform a 30-minute acoustic set to help boost morale during this difficult time.

“People often forget the risks of training, and it’s a very tragic scenario,” Best told Coffee or Die. “As a veteran-founded business, and being a co-founder, it was massively important to us to do whatever we could to show full support for not only the unit but for the families of the fallen.”

For those not in the area and anyone who would like to make a direct donation, visit the Screaming Eagle Aviation Association’s website.

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Katie McCarthy
Katie McCarthy

Katie McCarthy is the managing editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. Her career in journalism began at the Columbus (Georgia) Ledger-Enquirer in 2008, where she learned to navigate the newsroom as a features reporter, copy editor, page designer, and online producer; prior to joining Coffee or Die, she worked for Outdoor Sportsman Group as an editor for Guns & Ammo magazine and their Special Interest Publications division. Katie currently lives in Indiana with her husband and two daughters.

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