By Emily Baker
Killeen Daily Herald
The rumble of whirling rotor blades were a somber reminder of the helicopter Chief Warrant Officer-4 Richard Matt Salter loved to fly.
Four AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters flew in low as the sun began to set. Three continued on while one flew west, symbolizing an aviator has fallen.
Salter was killed in action near Baghdad, Iraq, the day after Christmas and was laid to rest Friday at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
Friends and family remembered Salter as a man who always honored his duty, both to his country and to his family.
He was a devout family man and loved his family, said Chief Warrant Officer-4 Mike Reese, who served with Salter during a deployment to Iraq from the spring of 2003 to 2004. Reese currently is stationed at Fort Rucker, Ala.
Family was always a topic of conversation, Reese said.
Salter leaves behind his wife of seven and a half years, Janet; his parents Dougald and Sara Jo Salter; a sister and brother-in-law, Sara and Jeff Ward; parents-in-law Doug and Paulette Meyers; sister-in-law, Tracy Meyers; and four children, Christina, 18, Jarrett, 15, Danielle, 6, and Lane, 8 months.
Salter left for his second tour in Iraq on Veterans Day. He joined the Army in 1987 because he wanted to fly. He left the Army for a couple of years but missed flying and returned to the military in September 2001, his widow said Thursday.
He loved what he did and was good at it, Janet Salter said.
Salter enjoyed hunting, fishing and golf. He was a third-degree Master Mason and belonged to the Killeen Masonic Lodge 1125. He was raised to a Master Mason Oct. 8, just a few weeks before he was deployed.
He was one of the finer men Ive known, said Donald Harp, twice-past master of the lodge. I hate to use the word hell, but I will. He was one hell of a guy. It was in his attitude and the way he conducted himself.
Salter was well-liked among Masons, who said they will assist his grieving family however they can.
He was a beloved brother and friend and will be greatly missed, said James Pauley, the lodges worshipful master.
Salters decorations include the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, several national defense and campaign medals and service ribbons, master and senior Army aviator badges and a good conduct and superior unit awards.
Contact Emily Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org