Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Corey Hood

Cincinnati, Ohio

August 16, 2015

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
32 Army SFC

 

 Served 5 tours in Iraq/Afghanistan - Two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medal, the Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder, Air Assault and Combat Action Badges.

From New York Daily News nydailynews.com 08/16/15:

Member of Army’s Golden Knights dies after colliding with fellow parachutists at Chicago air show 
BY NICOLE HENSLEY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, August 16, 2015, 9:23 PM

A decorated 32-year-old member of the Army Golden Knights died Sunday after a mid-air collision with another parachutist at the Chicago Air and Water Show, local reports said.

Sgt. First Class Corey Hood, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a veteran member of the Navy Leap Frog parachutes team collided while circling each other amid a spiral of red smoke. The stunt is known as a “bomb burst.”

Hood underwent surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to relieve pressure in his brain due to a head injury, the Chicago Tribune reported.

He hit and bounced off a 20-story building near the viewing area as he fell and landed near 1400 North Lake Shore Drive.

A witness said Saturday Hood’s emergency parachute did not open at first.

The other parachutist, who has not been identified, broke his leg after landing on the beach.

Hood, a 10-year veteran of the Army, logged at least 500 jumps as a forward observer with the Golden Knights Black Team, according to his Army profile.

He served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is survived by a wife and two children, officials said.

With News Wire Services
From WLWT5 NBC wlwt.com 08/16/15:

Former coach, friend remember Army parachutist killed in Chicago air show
Man was West Chester native, attended Lakota West High School


Published 11:16 PM EDT Aug 16, 2015

CINCINNATI —A decorated 14-year Army veteran and home town hero is being honored all over Greater Cincinnati and the country after he died in a skydiving accident in Chicago Sunday.

Sgt. First Class Corey Hood, 32, died after a midair collision with another Navy jumper during the Chicago Air & Water Show. The men had been performing a stunt, an Army Golden Knights parachute team spokeswoman said.

The Lakota West graduate is being honored all over the country for his service and love of his country.

“He had that drive, he had that determination, he never forgot where he came from. That was the thing that impressed me more than anything,” said former Lakota Wrestling Coach Scott Fetzer. “His name is not on the wall, his pictures aren’t on the wall, but his determination and grit and toughness that he learned in wrestling, he carried that on through to the service.”

Witnesses said Hood clipped the top of a high-rise apartment building before falling to the ground in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood.

The two men were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Saturday morning, Fire Department spokesman Juan Hernandez said.
Officials said Hood later died from his injuries.

WLWT News 5's Tammy Mutasa spoke with his long-time friend Austin Rhoades who was driving back home to Cincinnati from Chicago after his friend’s accident.

Rhoades said he attended Lakota West with Hood.

“When we heard about the accident, a few of my friends just knew we had to be there for him because he would do the same for us, he was always there for us,” said Rhoades. “We’re so proud of him being apart of that elite sky diving unit, he was so proud of himself I know and really loved those guys.”

The Army Golden Knights and Navy Leap Frogs parachute teams were performing a stunt known as a "bomb burst," Golden Knights spokeswoman Donna Dixon told WMAQ-TV. During the stunt, parachutists fall with red smoke trailing from packs and then separate, creating a colorful visual in the sky.

According to the Army, the Lakota West 2001 graduate had been jumping since 2010.

Officials said he received many award, including two Bronze medals, five Army commendation and five achievement medals.

Before he became a parachutist Hood served the country with five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His former wrestling coach’s fondest memory is a war story Hood told his class on a visit in 2006 about being trapped in a foxhole for two days during crossfire in Afghanistan.

“Corey told our team what kept him going in that fox hole is if I can make it through wrestling practice, I can survive this,” said Fetzer. “Now I’ll tell you this: after he told our kids that story, it was probably the greatest practice my team has ever had.”

“He would want us to know that however long that you’re here just give it everything you’ve got,” said Rhoades.

The other man who was injured during the stunt is a member of the Navy Leap Frogs. Army Golden Knights Spokeswoman Donna Dixon said he broke his leg and was expected to be released Saturday.

Spectator Heather Mendenhall told the Chicago Tribune she was watching the show from a rooftop and saw one of the parachutists strike the roof next door with his feet and fall, with his parachute trailing behind him.

"His legs caught the tip of the roof, and then he fell over. It was horrible," she told the newspaper.

She said he looked unconscious as he hit the roof. A maintenance worker on the same roof called paramedics.

"If he was only one foot closer to the roof, the maintenance guy could've grabbed him," Mendenhall said.

The other parachutist was found on North Avenue Beach, near the main viewing area for the show, Hernandez said.

He had no other details on the nature of the injuries or what went wrong.

The annual two-day air show draws millions of people to Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline. Headliners include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Members of the Navy team are active-duty personnel drawn from forces including the Navy SEALs. Specialists such as the Army and Navy jumpers can reach speeds of up to 180 mph during free fall by pulling their arms to their sides. They typically open their parachutes at around 5,000 feet, joining their canopies together in formation and setting off smoke grenades to send red smoke trailing behind them.
From WCPO 9 wcpo.com 08/16/15:

Army parachutist Corey Hood, West Chester native, dies after air show accident
WCPO Staff, Rose-Ann Aragon
6:07 PM, Aug 16, 2015 2 hours ago

CINCINNATI -- Corey Hood, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, died from injuries suffered in an accident at the Chicago Air and Water Show Saturday, an Army spokesman said.

Hood and a U.S. Navy parachutist collided in midair during a jump at about 11 a.m. Saturday during the air show. During a group jump known as a "bomb burst," one of the parachutists clipped the top of an apartment building. Hood crashed onto a sidewalk. The other parachutist broke a leg landing on a beach.

Hood was treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he was pronounced dead just after 4 p.m. Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

“Our focus right now is on supporting Corey’s family and grieving for our teammate,” Lt. Col. Matthew Weinrich, commander, U.S. Army Parachute Team, said. “As soldiers, there are risks every day in what we do, but you do everything you can to minimize those risks and it is extremely hard when that is not enough. The Knights are a very close knit team and the military skydiving community is equally close; we will support Corey’s family and each other during this difficult time.”

A U.S. Navy representative said the other parachutist, a member of the Leap Frogs precision skydiving team, was in stable condition.

Hood, a West Chester native, was in the Army since 2001 and served on five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Combat Action Badge, according to an Army representative.

“That’s just the nature of Corey,” his uncle, Terry, said. “He always saw good where there was evil and he wanted to do something about it. He loved to help people.”

He said the family was having a hard time, but was “very proud of what Corey has done.”

Hood began jumping in 2010 and logged more than 200 free fall jumps and 75 military static line jumps.

According to the Associated Press, Army and Navy jumpers can reach speeds of up to 180 miles per hour during free fall by pulling their arms to their sides. They typically open their parachutes at around 5,000 feet, joining their canopies together in formation and setting off smoke grenades to send red smoke trailing behind them.

“The Golden Knights are an important connection between the Army and the American people,” Mark S. Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Marketing, which oversees the USAPT, said. “Corey’s loss is a loss for the Army team and every single person he has touched and inspired wherever and whenever he jumped.”

Hood was a graduate of Lakota West High School. He is survived by his wife, Lyndsay.

Hood’s high school wrestling coach, Scott Fetzer, called him “a national hero” with “a lot of grit and a lot of determination.”

"He took that mental toughness and he lived it," Fetzer said.

Lakota West Principal Elgin Card said Hood had visited the school after returning from Afghanistan and spoke about being in a hole with three other soldiers.

“He came back and talked to our former wrestling coach and teacher, and he says ‘I knew I could make it out of that hole because I made it through Lakota West wrestling,’ so that made us smile.”

"It was pretty powerful," Fetzer said.

Card said the school would share Hood’s story with future students.

“I want them to understand what kind of man he was, what he’s done since he’s left Lakota West and to have pride to say that they go to the same school as him,” Card said.

Army officials said an investigation into the accident is ongoing.
From FOX 19 fox19.com 08/16/15:

US Army skydiver and Lakota West graduate dies from Chicago air show injuries
Posted: Aug 16, 2015 7:41 AM PDT
Updated: Aug 17, 2015 4:09 AM PDT
Posted by Brad HawleyCONNECT
Posted by Jennifer BakerCONNECT

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) -
Lakota West High School will hold a moment of silence Monday for a graduate and U.S. Army skydiver who died over the weekend from injuries in a midair collision with another jumper at the Chicago Air & Water Show.

Sgt. Corey Hood, 32, a member of the United States Army Golden Knights who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was hurt while performing a stunt called a "bomb burst" Golden Knights spokeswoman, Donna Dixon, told WMAQ-TV.

During the stunt, Dixon said the parachutists collided. Witnesses told first responders that at least one of the parachutists hit a building in the lakefront district, according to the AP. 

He was pronounced dead Sunday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Hood was a standout wrestler for Lakota West's Firebirds and also played baseball.

As a Sergeant First Class, Hood enlisted in the army more than 10 years ago and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to his bio on the Golden Knight's website.

He has been awarded two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, a Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and a Combat Action Badge. 

Spectator Heather Mendenhall told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday that she was watching the show from a rooftop and saw Hood strike the roof of a high-rise building next door with his feet and then fall - his parachute trailing behind him.

"His legs caught the tip of the roof, and then he fell over. It was horrible," she told the newspaper.

The other parachutist, who has not been identified, landed on North Avenue Beach near the main viewing area for the show, Fire Department spokesman Juan Hernandez said Saturday. He was treated for a broken leg.

The accident is under investigation, the Army said. The team did not perform again on Sunday.

"The Knights are a very close knit team and the military skydiving community is equally close; we will support Corey's family and each other during this difficult time," Col. Matthew Weinrich, commander of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, said in a statement.

Hood served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and had earned numerous awards, including two Bronze Stars. He is survived by his wife, Lyndsay.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Hood "an American hero," saying in a statement late Sunday, "He defended our freedom, he amazed so many as a member of the Golden Knights, and he will be missed."

Specialists such as the Army and Navy jumpers can reach speeds of up to 180 mph during freefall by pulling their arms to their sides. They typically open their parachutes at around 5,000 feet, joining their canopies together in formation and setting off smoke grenades to send red smoke trailing behind them.

The annual two-day air show draws millions of people to Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline. Headliners included the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Copyright 2015 WXIX and Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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