Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Army Sgt. Adam Kennedy

*********Updated information with funeral arrangements can be found here***********
Fallen soldier recalled as a leader and good son
Ever since he was a Cub Scout, Adam Kennedy liked to wear a uniform.
The Norfolk boy who often wore camouflage and later heaved more than 1,000 pounds as a prize-winning weight lifter became a 25-year-old sergeant in the Army who oversaw the security detail of the colonel commanding his brigade in Iraq.
On Sunday, while on a patrol about 25 miles southeast of Baghdad, a roadside bomb tore through his Humvee, making him one of the military's more than 3,267 dead in Iraq, his family said
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Army Sgt. Adam Kennedy, a rock climbing enthusiast and Norwich University graduate who began his first tour of duty in Iraq last fall, was killed by a blast from an improvised explosive device south of Baghdad, the Defense Department said Monday.
Kennedy, 25, of Norfolk, was killed Sunday when his unit was hit with indirect fire while conducting combat control near Diwaniyah, Iraq, said Army Alaska spokesman Capt. Richard C. Hyde.
Kennedy, a paratrooper, was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and was sent to his first tour in Iraq in October. He joined the Army in August 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in January 2005.
Kennedy's family members did not immediately know any additional details of the circumstances of Sunday's attack, his father, David Kennedy, and mother, Nancy Smyth, said by telephone from the family home in Norfolk.
"His lifelong ambition was to be in the military," his father said. "He really loved the discipline, and the physical conditioning."
Kennedy's unit provided security for an Army colonel, clearing hidden explosives and otherwise ensuring safe passage for convoys. The work frequently put Kennedy's unit in danger -- a reality that became clear to his family when he returned for a 10-day leave late last year.
"He was obviously subdued, and changed by the danger," his father said.
David Kennedy said his son telephoned him last Thursday and told him he would be on special duty requiring him to be out of contact for about a month.
Despite the risks, Kennedy in December made a commitment to remain with the Army for another six years, his father said.
Kennedy, who was single, graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood in 2000. He graduated from Norwich University, a private military college in Northfield, Vt., in 2004, majoring in computer science, according to a statement from the university.
At Norwich, he spent time away from his studies rock-climbing in the Green Mountains, and participated in a cold weather rescue team, his parents said.
Although he had little background as a runner, he last year finished a marathon during a break from military training in Alaska.
"He ran a respectable time his first time out," his father said.
Arrangements for a funeral in Norfolk were pending.
While Kennedy was serious about his military career and his beliefs, he could be a cut up, his father said."He was serious when it was called for," Kennedy said. "But he knew how to be a child and he could be the biggest goof-off."
Sgt. Kennedy was the second youngest of five children.He is survived by his older brother, John; older sisters, Jane and Maureen; and younger brother, Colin. Colin is a senior at Xaverian.
Honor Bound by Heather McCarron
In Norfolk there is a grassroots effort among townspeople to have as many flags as possible on display as a sign of respect and solidarity. If you are in Norfolk or know someone in Norfolk, please pass this along. Here is my contribution.

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