PIQUA — A motorcade escorted the body of United States Army Specialist Kyle Gantt to Piqua after arriving at the Dayton International Airport on Wednesday evening.
The motorcade involved over 750 motorcyclists and representatives from numerous law enforcement agencies to honor the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment soldier, who recently passed away. Area residents also lined the street at the intersection of Ash and Main streets to pay tribute to the 30-year-old Gantt.
Gantt, a Piqua native, was found unresponsive at approximately 8:30 a.m. on July 17, outside of his on-base living quarters at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. He was declared deceased at the scene by an authorized medical professional shortly after first responders arrived. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Gantt served as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew member and had been deployed to Soto Cano Air Base for approximately two months. He is survived by his wife, Tanya, and two children, Gabriel and Zoe.
A 2004 graduate of Piqua High School, Gantt enlisted in the Army in February 2012. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from March to October 2014. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, and the NATO medal.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, members of the 1-228th Winged Warriors, and all who are grieving the loss of Specialist Gantt,” said U.S. Army Col. Brian Hughes, Joint Task Force-Bravo commander.
“Our leaders, ministry teams and trained counselors are caring for those affected by this loss. We will continue to execute U.S. Southern Command’s mission, the one Spc. Gantt so proudly carried out in service of our great nation.”
Services for Gantt will begin at 10 a.m. today at the Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home, 333 W. High St. in Piqua, with the Rev. Joy Simpson officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua.
Memorial contributions may be made to Tanya Gantt as she provides for their two young children.
Reach the writer at (937) 451-3336