He was born in Chattanooga and raised in McMinnville. After two years in enlisted service with the 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, he was selected to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated with distinction in 2003. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant, entered the aviation branch of the Army and became a Chinook helicopter pilot. He served on active duty for 10 years and was promoted to Major in 2013.
He was survived by his parents, Deborah Draper, and Glen (Marilyn) Draper; brother, Davis Draper; and stepsisters, Christy Shearer Callahan and Ronda Lechaire Callahan.
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013, in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be at Chattanooga National Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2013.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday June 7, 2013, at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga TN 37421.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Memory of Derrick to the Wounded Warrior Project at: https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=72&campaignSource=WEBSITE&company=&source=HONOR. Wounded Warrior will be happy to send a card acknowledging your donation to the Draper Family if you would like them to do so. Write to 333 Windcrest Place N.W., Cleveland TN 37312-314.
Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family.