Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rex C. Kenyon, Army, Chief Warrant Officer -- Rest In Peace

Rex C. Kenyon, 34

Army, Chief Warrant Officer 3
Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: January 16, 2006
Mishahda (north of Baghdad), Iraq
Engaged, 1 child
Gender: Male
Hometown: El Segundo
High School: El Segundo High (El Segundo)
Burial: Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, Killeen, Texas
For his 17th birthday, he asked for a helicopter lesson.

At 18, he was lured from his engineering studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo by Army recruiters who offered him a chance to fly helicopters as a full-time soldier. He was ecstatic because he had gone to college only after being rejected by the Navy and Air Force academies.

Within two years, Kenyon had learned to fly Huey, Cobra and Apache helicopters, said his father, Rex, a retired Chevron Corp. senior manager who lives in Big Bear Lake with his wife, Beverly.

In more recent years, Kenyon learned to fly the Apache Longbow, a sophisticated copter that uses touch-screen controls instead of switches.

The Apache helicopter he was flying with another pilot Jan. 16 was shot down while on patrol north of Baghdad, killing both. The other soldier was Ruel M. Garcia, 34, of Wahiawa, Hawaii. Both were chief warrant officers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment (Attack), Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas.

"Every time we would see him, we would ask him when he was going to get out of the Army," his father said. "He would tell us that this wasn't a job to him. He told us he would never get a place to work where they would give him a $30-million helicopter to fly and all the gas he needed. He would tell us he was doing the right thing for him and for our country."

Kenyon was born in Rolla, Mo., and reared in New Jersey; Bakersfield; Pleasant Hill, Calif.; and El Segundo, where he graduated from El Segundo High in 1989. The family moved as his father's career advanced.

In addition to his parents, Kenyon is survived by his wife and 5-year-old daughter, whose names were not disclosed; a brother, Robert, 31, of Valencia; and his maternal grandfather, William Bryant of Illinois.

He "was the child everyone wants to have. He was very loving," his father said. "He was a very happy kid, and a good student and a good athlete."
Read the entire LA Times article about Army Chief Warrant Officer Rex C. Kenyon here, and find more here and here and visit Chief Warrant Officer Kenyon's Guest Book.

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