Medal to be awarded to servicemans family


First Posted: 3/18/2009

Nearly five years after a serviceman from Mount Airy died testing a plane in South Korea, one of the militarys highest awards will be received by his family at Fort Bragg.
The Distinguished Flying Cross will be bestowed in recognition of Chief Warrant Officer David Snow in a ceremony scheduled March 27 at the U.S. Army installation near Fayetteville.
Snow was 37-years-old when he died on Aug. 12, 2003, while testing aircraft in Seoul, South Korea, as a member of the 117th Aviation Brigade.
He lacked one month being in for 20 years, Snows father-in-law, Paige Noonkester of Mount Airy, said Wednesday. Noonkester is among family members who plan to attend next weeks ceremony at Fort Bragg, where several airborne units are stationed.
Snows widow, Amy, is expected to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross during the ceremony at Fort Bragg, a large-scale event which will include military personnel from around the country. The longtime Army member also left behind two daughters, Emily and Olivia.
Mount Airy Mayor Jack Loftis has notified Snows wife that he also intends to attend the ceremony to help honor her late husbands memory and achievement. She now resides in King, and Snow has siblings and other survivors living in Surry County.
Noonkester said Wednesday that the ceremony will appropriately honor a man who relished serving his country. He just loved the military, Noonkester said. While Snow had talked about how much he was looking forward to retirement, there was some doubt about his actually going ahead with the discharge once the time came, Noonkester added.
Aside from his military career, Snow also excelled as a human being, the Mount Airy resident recalled of his late son-in-law, who was a graduate of North Surry High School and a member of the Greyhounds football team.
He was just a number-one man, Noonkester said. You couldnt find a better man nowhere. He was just tops.
Snow served three previous missions in South Korea before the one during which he died, and also completed a tour of duty in Honduras. He had been stationed for 11 years at Fort Bragg, where his funeral was held at the 82nd Airborne Division Memorial Chapel on Aug. 22, 2003. Snow was buried with full military honors at Skyline Memory Gardens just south of Mount Airy.
Next weeks ceremony will be headed by the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, which also will honor another serviceman, Kevin Norman, with the same medal.
The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the U.S. armed forces who serves with distinction in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.
Noonkester called the circumstances of Snows death while testing the aircraft an uncalled-for situation that later was determined to be due to an error by mechanic personnel.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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