Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ty Kettenhofen.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ty Kettenhofen. (U.S. Army)

(Tribune News Service) — Community members are being encouraged to line the streets Thursday near Ontario Airport with American flags to welcome home an Army soldier from Orange, Calif., who died in a parachute training accident on a Florida air reserve base.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ty Kettenhofen, 37, died on March 13. He was a member of the Army’s elite Golden Knights, a parachute team that traveled the world demonstrating the complex art of parachuting.

The Orange native was a jump master instructor at the US Army Jumpmaster School.

Before joining the elite squad in 2020, he also served two deployments to Iraq and two to Afghanistan.

Kettenhofen was a Purple Heart recipient and also received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Master Parachutist Badge and Combat infantry Badge.

After joining the Golden Knights, his family said, ”He was living his dream. It wasn’t a job to him as he loved doing nothing more that soaring with his team, jumping at air shows and even into a stadium filled with NFL fans.”

Kettenhofen had made more than 1,000 jumps.

“The US Army parachute team is saddened by the loss of one of our own. MSG 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,” said Lt. Col. Andy Moffit, Golden Knights Parachute Team commander. “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.”

His body will arrive at the Ontario Airport at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. A procession will go from the airport to a mortuary. The procession will go along Archibald Avenue to the 10 East, to the 15 South, to the 60 East, to the 215 South and exit at Ethanac Road to Encato Drive.

©2023 MediaNews Group, Inc.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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