Homecoming, Burial Set for LA Soldier, One of 9 Killed in Chopper Crash

American flag over casket at military funeral

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - One of the nine U.S. Army soldiers killed when a pair of Black Hawk helicopters crashed last month during a training session near Fort Campbell in Kentucky will return home to Los Angeles Monday to be laid to rest.

The body of Sgt. Isaac John Gayo, 27, of the 101st Airborne Division, will travel in a procession from LAX to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery starting at about 5 p.m. Monday, according to the nonprofit veterans support group Honoring Our Fallen, which specializes in helping families during the transfer of remains.

Gayo was killed March 29 during what the Army called a routine training operation.

He was born in the Philippines and enlisted in the Army from Los Angeles in 2019. He attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and then took advanced individual training at Fort Eustis, Virginia, according to the Army.

His awards and decorations include the U.S. Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He had been studying to get into flight school, and learned about a week before the accident that he got in.

Honoring Our Fallen suggests that members of the community line the route from LAX with flags to honor Gayo as he travels to his final resting place.

The route from LAX to the cemetery will be: Sepulveda Boulevard; 105 East to 110 North; 110 North to I-5 North; I-5 North to 134-Ventura; 134 to Forest Lawn Drive; left onto Memorial Drive and into Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive.

Also killed were:

-- Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33, of Milton, Florida;

-- Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, of Austin, Texas;

-- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, of Jackson, Missouri;

-- Staff Sgt. Joshua C. Gore, 25, of Morehead City, North Carolina;

-- Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32, of Cape Coral, Florida;

-- Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30, of Mountain Brook, Alabama;

-- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, of Rolla, Missouri; and

-- Sgt. David Solinas Jr, 23, of Oradell, New Jersey.

"This is a time of great sadness for the 101st Airborne Division," Maj. Gen. JP McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, said in a statement last month.

"The loss of these soldiers will reverberate through our formations for years to come. Now is the time for grieving and healing. The whole division and this community stand behind the families and friends of our fallen soldiers."

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