Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tuck (Theodore U.) Church dies of 'wounds suffered when his OH-58D Kiowa helicopter crashed after receiving heavy enemy fire during combat operations'

SOUTH POINT, Ohio -- A U.S. Army helicopter pilot from the South Point area was killed on Memorial Day when his helicopter crashed after coming under heavy enemy fire in Iraq.

The pilot was identified as Chief Warrant Officer Theodore "Tuck" U. Church, 32, of South Point, according to an announcement this afternoon by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Church and his wife, Mindi, both are South Point High School graduates, according to Marilyn Bradley of Chesapeake, Mindi's grandmother. Church was stationed in Hawaii and on his third tour to the Middle East. The Churches have been married for 12 years and have two children.

"It's very, very hard right now," Bradley said Thursday night. "He was very well respected by his men. He was a very honorable young man."

"It's a shock," said her husband, John Bradley. "He was such a nice guy. He's a great father. He's just real nice."

Church was in the U.S. Navy for four years and spent the last eight years in the U.S. Army.

"He was a wonderful person," said Donna Newman of Chesapeake.

"We saw him last summer," Marilyn Bradley said. "They were scheduled to come home in July or August."

"We don't know if he'll be buried here or in Arlington," she said.

From the Herald Dispatch