A decorated local serviceman will be honored on Saturday in a special way

A portion of Lakota Drive West will be formally dedicated to Army Master Sgt. Corey Hood on Saturday, and the West Chester VFW will also honor the veteran with a brick at the Voice of America Memorial Park.

Trustees, at the urging of a group of residents, planned to rename all or part of Lakota West Drive in honor of Hood, who died in 2015 during a parachuting demonstration with the Army Golden Knights at the Chicago Air and Water Show.

“You would want to name a street or a building after something you value. I’d like to have people ask, Who was Corey Hood’…,” Jason Cronk, Hood’s former chemistry teacher, told the trustees last summer. “Corey wasn’t a great student at West as far as what his transcript will tell you. Corey found his way in the Army … Corey was a rock star, he was a poster child for the U.S. Army.”

A portion of Lakota West Drive will be dedicated to Army Master Sergeant Corey Hood on Saturday. The Lakota graduate died in 2015 during a parachuting demonstration with the Army Golden Knights at the Chicago Air and Water Show. Staff Writer

Before they went down the renaming path, the township learned the street is actually a county road and thus not theirs to rename. Instead, last fall they installed two memorial signs, one facing westbound near Eagle Ridge Drive and a second facing east behind the north end zone at Firebird Stadium.

Hood, a 2001 Lakota West graduate, joined the Army right out of school. During his 14-year tenure in the Army, Hood served as a Forward Observer, Team Chief, Platoon Sergeant and an Airborne Instructor. He completed five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and received many accolades and medals.

Hood was awarded two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Combat Action Badge.

The ceremony at Voice of America will begin at 9:30 — a total of 14 memorial bricks will be dedicated including Hood’s — directly in front of the Target store on Cox Road. The Lakota dedication will begin at 11 a.m. at the eastern street marker. A map and more details are available online at: http://www.hoodymemorial.com/ 

Master Sgt. Corey Hood. CONTRIBUTED Staff Writer

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