Army Pilot Clayton Carpenter's Body Brought Home to Yorktown
The procession began at LaGuardia Airport and made its way along the Taconic State Parkway to the Yorktown Funeral Home in Shrub Oak. Lake Mohegan firefighters saluted as the hearse carrying Carpenter turned onto Barger Street and made its way into the funeral home.
Various fire departments across Westchester provided honor guard for the hometown hero and displayed American flags along the way, while police departments assisted in the escort.
Carpenter, 31, was a platoon leader of an elite U.S. Army helicopter unit for the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as "Night Stalkers" because of t heir proficiency in nighttime operations.
"He did what he loved and died defending everyone he loved," said Yorktown Councilman Vishnu Patel, whose daughter Amy Daschle was good friends and classmates with Carpenter at West Point. Patel's son, Amit, is a fellow Blackhawk Pilot for the 3rd Battalion as well.
"He will be forever missed and forever in our hearts."
Carpenter, who moved to Cortlandt Manor when he was a young child, graduated from Lakeland High School in 2001 and from the U.S Military Academy at West Point in 2005. He was also a youth group captain for the Yorktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps when he was in high school, Patel said.
He served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had previously been stationed in Hawaii, Alabama and Kentucky.
"He was really an unbelievable individual," Patel said. "We are all shocked."
Shortly before the training accident occurred, he had come home and was planning on returning home again this weekend, Patel said.
Carpenter is survived by his parents Colette and Paul Carpenter and brother Christopher.
Wake services will be held on Friday, Jan. 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Yorktown Funeral Home, located at 945 East Main Street in Shrub Oak.
The funeral service will be held at United Methodist Church, located at 1176 E Main Street in Shrub Oak on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. He will be later taken to the Arlington National Cemetery.