The Cleveland community is mourning the passing of a 27-year-old U.S. Sailor, who died May 9 in a non-combat-related incident. Kyle A. David was born in New London, Conn., though he considered himself to be a native of Cleveland, Texas.
David enlisted in the Navy in April 2012 and had achieved the rank of AT2 (AW/SW) by the time of his death. He attended the Recruit Training Command in Chicago, Ill, where he received orders to the Naval Air Technical Training Command in Pensacola, Fla., for “A” school. Shortly after departing the Naval Air Technical Command, he checked into his first duty station in Norfolk, Va., where he received a temporary duty assignment to CNATTU Norfolk for C2-A Greyhound “C” School. While assigned to the VAW-120, he served as an avionics technician.
Following subsequent assignments, he quickly advanced to Petty Officer Second Class and became the Avionics Night Shift Supervisor, responsible for leading five aviation electronics technicians. As a leader, he emphasized the importance of training and the completion of qualifications in a timely manner, resulting in a 24 percent increase in shop qualifications.
He was the 2018 Sailor of the Year for VAW-123, He excelled as a supervisor and his troubleshooting acumen is said to have far surpassed the abilities of many of his superiors.
In addition to his Naval service, David volunteered his off-duty time to help with Habitat for Humanity projects and annual environmental base-wide clean-up projects. His most passionate off-duty time was spent with his 4-year-old son, Elijah.
He is described as “inspiring” with a never-give-up attitude. In a statement from the U.S. Navy, David will be remembered as “the compass that kept his work center focused and on track in repairing degraded systems. His personality was that of a man consumed by the need to laugh and smile and could be counted on when the chips were down to push himself and others through difficult tasks. AT2 David was a warfighter. He will not be easily replaced and already we feel the void left by his passing.”
He is survived by his wife, Rolanda David, and their son, Elijah David; his parents, John and Lisa David of Mabelvale, Ark.; brother, Zachary David; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Raphael and Cheryl Driver of Cleveland, Texas.
His funeral will be held on Friday, May 24, at 2 p.m., in the Neal Funeral Home Chapel with Father Joseph Jessing officiating. Special speakers will be AT1 Daniel McCullar, Ben Hankins and Raphael Driver. Full military honors will be provided by the U.S. Navy.
Neal Funeral Home is planning to return David’s body from Houston to Cleveland on Wednesday. The arrival time for his body to be flown to Houston is not available at this time. As soon as a more precise time is set, the details will be posted on www.BluebonnetNews.com, so that Cleveland-area residents can give David a hero’s welcome.