CW2 David Ayala was born in South Carolina on April 17, 1980, and eventually moved with his family to Bronx, New York. Dave enlisted in the U.S. Army as an OH-58 Helicopter Mechanic upon graduating from high school. He continued to serve his country through the rank of Sergeant, yet with the ultimate goal of becoming a pilot. He served in Kosovo from November 1999 to April 2000 as a Sergeant and an OH-58D Crew Chief. Shortly thereafter, he was accepted to flight school and reassigned to Ft Rucker, Alabama. He attended the U.S. Army Basic Rotary Wing Training, Warrant Officer Basic Course, CH-47D Qualification Course, and SERE-C training.In March of 2003, he was stationed at Giebelstadt Army Airfield, Germany, where he joined F Company, 159th Aviation Regiment “Big Windy”.
He trained with the unit for its deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and deployed in February 2005 to Bagram Airfield near Kabul, Afghanistan.