Carl Enis, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant and a Pinecrest native, was among the seven crew members killed in a helicopter crash Thursday in western Iraq.
The Pentagon released a statement Friday saying the crash did not appear to be the result of an enemy attack and that the incident is under investigation.
“This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations,” Army spokesman Brig. General Jonathan P. Braga said in the statement. “We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today.”
Enis, 31, served as a pararescueman — he performed combat rescue missions — and was a member of the 308th Rescue Squadron from Patrick Air Force Base, which is just south of Cocoa Beach.
According to Local 10, Enis graduated from Gulliver Prep and attended Florida State University before joining the military. He earned a master’s degree in business administration. He had a commercial real estate license with TLG Real Estate Services.
He was also an outdoorsman. Enis’ Facebook page is filled with pictures of him fishing, hiking, hunting and scuba diving.
“I am speechless and I am heartbroken,” Dan Sherraden, one of Enis’ friends, posted on his personal Facebook page Friday morning along with eight photos of Enis, Sherraden and other friends fishing and hunting. “One [of] our very best friends was killed in Iraq yesterday. Carl Enis was the most stable, genuine, selfless, and talented man I have ever known. As an Air Force [pararescueman], he is a true American hero and has saved many lives.”
Daniel Martinko, who met Enis in college, described Enis as “outgoing, adventurous and unstoppable” in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat.
“He never met a stranger,” Martinko told the news outlet. “Any interaction he ever had with anybody, he left them better than he found them.”