Procession planned for fallen Army Golden Knights paratrooper
A seasoned U.S. Army airborne trooper who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and was killed in a parachuting exercise while rehearsing with the famed Golden Knights will be returned home Thursday, with organizers of his procession asking the public to join in honoring him.
Master Sgt. Michael “Ty” Kettenhofen, 37, of Orange was fatally injured on March 13 during a practice jump at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.
The parachute instructor, who was selected for the Army’s Golden Knights in 2020, was on a practice jump when he suffered the fatal fall, according to military officials. No other details were available.
“The U.S. Army Parachute Team is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” said Lt. Col. Andy Moffit, the Golden Knights Parachute Team commander. “Ty Kettenhofen was loved, admired and respected by all those who knew him for his sense of humor, joy of life and accomplishments as a senior non-commissioned officer and demonstration parachutist.
“Our hearts and faith are with his family and friends as we grieve and heal with them. Ty will be honored and remembered as a Golden Knight, soldier and friend.”
Kettenhofen earned a Purple Heart during deployments overseas, including to Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Army.
He had logged over 1,000 jumps during his military service.
According to the nonprofit Honoring Our Fallen, Kettenhofen’s remains are slated to arrive at Ontario International Airport Thursday afternoon, and about 5:30 p.m., his coffin will be borne to Evans-Brown Mortuary in Menifee.
“We reach out to the community … to ask for your support lining the route with flags to honor this hero as he is returned home,” Honoring Our Fallen founder Laura Herzog said.
She said the procession route will travel the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway through Jurupa Valley and Riverside, transitioning to Interstate 215 southbound through Perris, following that freeway until reaching Ethanac Road in Menifee, where the procession will go east, then turn south on Encanto Drive, going about a half-mile before stopping at 27010 Encanto Drive.