More than 500 people gathered Thursday to remember U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Suresh Niranjan .A. Krause, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot killed earlier this month in Afghanistan. Mourners filed into the chapel at Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary, 69-855 E. Ramon Road, to pay their respects to the soldier and his family. “Sharing memories (of Krause) will help with our grief,” funeral officiant Galen Goben said. Brody Schmidt, Krause’s uncle, recalled favorite memories of his spirited nephew. “Ba was a student of life,” he said, choking up. After the ceremony at Forest Lawn, Krause’s casket was loaded into a horse-drawn carriage and taken over to the Desert Memorial Park, 31-705 Da Vall Drive. Krause, a Cathedral City High School graduate, was one of 11 military personnel — seven American troops and four Afghans — killed Aug. 16. He had been piloting an Army Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province when it went down. “Suresh threw himself into everything and had a blast doing it,” Cathedral City High School teacher and swim coach Brad Fleener said. “Suresh always knew he wanted to fly. He was a great guy.” Krause, 29, was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. This was his second deployment. After graduating from high school, Krause attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona. In 2007, he enlisted in the Army. Two years later, he became a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. (MD)]]>

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