WSU graduate dies in Iraq helicopter crash

Army National Guard 1st Lt. Jaime (Krausse) Campbell, a 2002 graduate of Washington State University, was among 12 killed in a helicopter crash in northern Iraq on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The 25-year-old Alaska Army National Guard first lieutenant from Ephrata was one of two pilots flying the UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed. The Black Hawk, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, was providing support for the 101st Airborne Division.

A state rodeo queen in 1998 and Ephrata High School class president, Campbell earned a degree in Apparel, Merchandising and Textiles in December 2002. She joined the Washington Army National Guard while at WSU to help pay tuition bills, and remained in the National Guard to pursue aviation.

Charii Higgins, coordinator of WSU Veteran’s Affairs, said Campbell was one of her workstudy students for a more than two years. She described her as a “perfect” student who “wanted to be the best at everything she did.”

“If she didn’t do well on a test — which didn’t happen often — she was bumbed and would examine it and determine not to make that mistake again.

“She was meticulous in her work and the office was always in perfect order when she was here,” said Higgins. “She wanted things done correctly and wouldn’t put up with any nonsense. And, if she said she would do something, you could depend on it.”

Higgins also described Campbell as a leader. “When our office was swamped and crazy, she kept her head and could lighten it up with a joke.”

As an active member and leader in ROTC, Higgins said, Campbell was both physically and mentally tough. And yet, what made her unique was that “she was such a soft, gentle, kind woman and would do absolutely anything to help anybody. She was always there when times were rough.”

Campbell kept in touch with Higgins via e-mail, even when she was in Iraq. “When you work as  closely as we did, your lives become interwoven .… I always knew she would excel as an officer. And she really loved flying helicopters.”

Campbell’s husband, Army Capt. Sam Campbell, who was serving in Iraq in a different region, will return to the U.S. with her remains this week.

The cause of the helicopter crash remains under investigation.

Other casualties in the crash include:

* Chief Warrant Officer Chester W. Troxel, 45, of Anchorage.

* Spc. Michael I. Edwards, 26, of Fairbanks, Alaska.

* Spc. Jacob E. Melson, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska.

* Maj. Stuart M. Anderson, 44, of Peosta, Iowa. He was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 3rd Corps Support Command at Des Moines, Iowa.

* Maj. Douglas A. Labouff, 36, of California. (No home town was provided.) He was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

* Capt. Michael R. Martinez, 43, of Missouri. (No home town provided.) He was with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

* 1st Lt. Joseph D. deMoors, 36, of Jefferson, Ala. He was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

* and four civilians

 For full stories visit The Seattle Times website at or The Daily World website at

Next Story

Recent News

Student receives NASA graduate fellowship

Ian Wells, a mechanical and materials engineering graduate student, has won a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities fellowship.

Summer schedule for WSU Insider

Look for news highlights in the daily push email most days Monday through Thursday through late August, with Friday emails resuming around the start of the fall semester.