tim gore
CBS 17

A military helicopter crash in Kentucky took the lives of nine service members, including the 25-year-old son of a North Carolina pastor. Pastor Tim Gore, the grieving father, told the media, “He is my hero, and I am proud that God let him call me dad.”

WKRN reported that Caleb Gore, Pastor Gore’s son, was among those killed in the Kentucky Fort Campbell Black Hawk helicopter accident. The Fremont Missionary Baptist Church pastor Gore said Caleb was everything a father would wish for. Travis Moore, the pastor at nearby Cornerstone Assembly of God and a close friend of Gore, told CBS 17, “When Pastor Tim heard the news, he couldn’t believe it; the emotions flooded in. As I’ve talked to him throughout the day, he’s just trying to process everything.”

Caleb was known as a wonderful and loving child with a bright future. He was taking leadership training with plans to become a registered nurse. Residents set up a memorial outside of Gore’s church to honor Caleb.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services called the tragedy a “grim reminder” of the risks taken by those in the armed forces. “They put themselves in harm’s way to defend our freedom, our values, our way of life, and in the process, some pay the ultimate sacrifice,” Crux quoted him as saying. Officials think the accident happened during a training exercise involving two helicopters flying in formation under night vision goggles.

Pastor Gore said Caleb was excited to join the Army, enlisting before he finished his studies. He became an airborne medic with a genuine interest in search and rescue missions. Pastor Gore said, “If you happened to be wounded on the battlefield, Caleb coming out of that helicopter would be the most beautiful thing you would ever see.”

Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, said, “This is a time of great sadness for the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell. The loss of these soldiers will reverberate through our formations for years to come.”

In addition to Caleb Gore, the victims included Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, Sgt. Isaacjohn Gayo, Staff Sgt. Joshua C. Gore, Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, and Sgt. David Solinas Jr.

As the community grieves and heals, Maj. Gen. McGee emphasized their support for the families and friends of the fallen soldiers. “Now is the time for grieving and healing. The whole division and this community stand behind the families and friends of our fallen Soldiers.” Please keep the families of those who lost a loved one in your prayers.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad