Fallen Hero CW2 Don C. Viray, United States Army

CW2 Don C. Viray

July 15, 1986 – April 19, 2012
U. S. Army

Don Cayetano Viray was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 15, 1986 at Tripler Army Medical Center. Much of his ‘story’ is gleaned from a wonderful memorial website (doncviray.com) created by Don’s sister Sherry. She states that Hawaii loves its military. All branches of service have a huge presence on the Islands. Perhaps with that influence and the fact that his father, Leo, is a military man Don grew up wanting to serve his country. When he joined the Army (he stated in an interview) he was a young seventeen and his mother, Luz, had to give her permission. Don graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and became an officer in 2007. He got pinned his wings and became a pilot on Dec 11, 2008 right on his father’s birthday…….a very proud moment for the family.

Don did a tour in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan. On January 11, 2012 Don saw his beloved home of Hawaii and the people he loved for the last time. It was a ceremony that was supposed to be sad but Don was all smiles. During an interview, while being deployed, Don stated, “I wanted to be a MEDEVAC guy – to be the guy that everyone wants to see – to get them out when they are hurt.” And this he did, for he had a distinguished career as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.

On April 19, 2012 while coming to the aid of Afghans in need during the dark of night his helicopter crashed, claiming the life of Don and all three of his crew. States his sister Sherry, “He died serving his country……we must never forget the many people he rescued through the years.” At the age of twenty-five CW2 Don C. Viray had already served eight years in the Army.

We invite you to visit Don’s website. You will see one of our country’s most beautiful cemeteries where Don is buried overlooking O’ahu, The Medal of Honor Award Ceremony (Hawaii was the first state to create this award), and so much more.

In regard to this portrait, Sherry said: “This has been the hardest for my mother. Please paint for her - I know she will love it.”

Portrait sponsored by:
- MLT Marketing Group, Rochester, MN