BRIGHAM CITY – U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, from Keaau, Hawaii, was laid to rest in Brigham City Monday afternoon. He died Nov. 20, 2019, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when his helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground. The incident is under investigation.
He was the husband of a Corrine woman, McKenzie Norman Fuchigami.
Brigadier Gen Michael J. Turley was the top military official at the ceremony and handed American flags to his wife McKenzie Norman Fuchigami, his father Takeshi Fuchigami and other family members. Utah National Guard Capt. Tim Clayson, the brigade’s chaplain, gave a tribute to the fallen soldier.
“It was a nice ceremony. It was a good sunny day and the flyover by Apache Helicopters was spectacular,” said D.J. Gibb MAJ, PA state public affairs officer of the Utah National Guard. “It was an honor to be able to receive the remains and get Fuchigami to his final place of rest.”
Fuchigami was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
The soldier’s remains arrived in Utah with a dignified transfer Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Ogden-Hinkley Airport. He was received by his wife. The remains were transported to the mortuary located in Brigham City.
He was buried with full military honors at the Brigham City Cemetery, including a firing party for a 21-gun salute, a bugler to play TAPS, and a three-man fold team to present the flag to Fuchigami’s wife, McKenzie.
“It’s an honor to be able to receive the remains and get Fuchigami a to his place of rest. He was a great pilot a great soldier, pilot and husband,” Gibbs said.
The military support for the funeral was comprised of soldiers from all over the state, mostly from Salt Lake and Utah counties. The Utah National Guard provided a casualty assistance officer to help the family, including the journey from the airport to the cemetery.
As a solider, Fuchigami was passionate about serving his country, and was honored with the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, and National Defense Service Medal before he arrived at the cemetery.
According to the U.S. military, Fuchigami, 25, entered active duty in May 2017.
In October 2018, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot.
Fuchigami’s awards and decorations included the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and Army Aviator Badge.
Takeshi is survived by his wife, McKenzie Norman Fuchigami; parents, Kirk Takeshi Fuchigami and Lisa Marie Casey; brother, Ernest Isami Fuchigami; sister, Hannah Marie Casey; father and mother-in-law, Steven Carter Norman and Jana Lee Hunsaker Norman; sisters- and brothers-in-law: Melissa Norman, Mindy (Nathan) Salisbury, Lindsey (Andy) Conerly, and Lacie Norman; grandparents, Dr. Ernest Louis Bade and Karen Lee Bade, Jackie Fuchigami, Royal and Elaine Norman, and Carma Hunsaker Davis.