A North Texas man was among two soldiers who died Wednesday when their helicopter crashed in Logar Province, Afghanistan, officials say.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, of Fort Worth and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, of Hawaii were providing security for troops on the ground when the crash occurred, according to the Department of Defense.
Both men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, and had been deployed to Afghanistan in October.
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Born in Wise County to Edward and Charlene Knadle, David Knadle attended Bethesda Christian School of Fort Worth and did some work around Dallas-Fort Worth before he decided to become a helicopter pilot, his father said.
David Knadle lived in Fort Worth and attended Wesleyan University before moving to Temple with his family, Edward Knadle said.
"When you lose a son, it's a tragic thing, it's a horrible thing," he said.
Edward Knadle described his son as a "good patriot" who believed in the country.
"He believed in the principles of our country — freedom, freedom to speak, liberty — all the great things America was founded on," he said.
David Knadle entered active duty in April 2013 and was assigned to the 1-227th in April 2015, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot, according to Fort Hood officials.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and Army Aviator Badge.
"David was probably the epitome of what you'd want in a son," he said. "Everything you'd hope to have in a good son — that was my son."
In addition to his parents, David Knadle is survived by his wife, Silkey; his 14-year-old stepson, Eason; 5-year-old daughter, Starling; and his three brothers, Michael, Jonathan and Stephen.
The helicopter crash is under investigation, officials say.