CINCINNATI (AP) — A solo Army Golden Knight parachutist honored a comrade’s dream by landing on the high school football field where hundreds of mourners gathered for his funeral Saturday, a week after he was involved in a deadly accident at a Chicago air show.
The military skydiver, joined by a team of professionals, fulfilled the wish of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Corey Hood, who had long wanted to parachute on to the field where he played as a youth, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
“He was highly competitive and didn’t want to lose at anything,” Larry Cox, his high school football coach, told the hundreds of mourners who gathered in the stands at Lakota West High School. “I think it correlated with why he became such a great soldier.”
Hood, 32, died Aug. 16, a day after colliding with another parachutist before during a jump at the Chicago Air and Water Show.
Before joining the Golden Knights, the army’s elite parachute performance team, Hood served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Highly decorated, he was awarded two Bronze Stars for heroism.
“Corey would run toward gunfire, not away from it,” childhood friend Adam Price told mourners.
Hood rose quickly through the ranks and made sergeant first class at a young age. The Army on Monday posthumously promoted him to master sergeant.
Hood was buried during a private ceremony after the funeral.