Governor Terry Branstad observed a moment of silence this morning before his weekly meeting with the media to recognize the Iowan who died when a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Thirty-five-year-old Jon Tumilson  of Rockford as a Navy Seal that died in the crash late Friday.

Branstad called Tumilson “a great American hero,” and he noted it was the same SEAL unit that killed al-Quaida leader Osama bin Laden. “And I think as Americans we can be very proud of them, and very appreciative of their sacrifice,” Branstad said.

Tumilson was a 1995 graduate of Rockford High School and was among 29 other soldiers who died. The governor said this morning he has not spoken with Tumilson’s family, but plans to do so.