Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: January 28, 2007
Najaf (north of), Iraq
High School: Sunny Hills High (Fullerton)
Burial: Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier
"He was such a kind and loving person," said his mother, Jasmine Crowl of Orange. "He liked to protect the ground troops."
Read the entire LA Times article about Army Chief Warrant Officer Cornell C. Chao here and read more here.
When the family moved to Fullerton, Chao took up golf, eventually playing on the Sunny Hills High School team.
From an early age, Chao set his own path. "He didn't follow, and he didn't expect to be followed," said Shane Ahn, who met Chao in fifth grade and was close to him through high school. "In many respects, he knew his path well before anyone else [in our class] did."
Chao joined the Army right after graduation. He started at the bottom -- an enlisted man serving in the infantry in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. After a brief stint at Long Beach City College, he made the military his career.