Thomas Kennedy was recently killed in action serving in Afghanistan. He was a 35-year-old West Point grad who leaves behind a wife and two kids.
Via Journal News:
The news came mid-week that another suicide bombing in Afghanistan had stolen the lives of coalition troops in Afghanistan. It was soon discovered that New City native Maj. Thomas “TK” Kennedy was one of three Americans killed. His death came amid a week in which three other attacks were perpetrated upon coalition troops by those wearing Afghan military uniforms.
The losses underscore the peril faced by coalition troops, even as most international troops are set to depart in 2014, some 10 years after a U.S.-led invasion targeting Taliban rule and al-Qaida. According to the Associated Press, 30 coalition service members have been killed by those in Afghan uniform — either in disguise or among those who have been trained by coalition forces. It is a marked increase in such violence. Add to those losses the toll from ongoing attacks, like the one that killed Kennedy and his cohorts, by insurgents.
It is a reminder that every day, every hour, our military men and women continue to face grave risk, even as the war occupies less and less space in the national conversation. Their deaths are a deep loss to our nation, our community, and, most of all, the service members’ families. Maj. Kennedy leaves a wife, Kami, twins who turn 2 next month, his father, mother and brothers.
The 35-year-old West Point graduate was just three weeks into his first Afghanistan assignment, although he had completed tours in Iraq. He had earned dozens of medals and service medals — posthumously, a Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
The family is requesting donations in Tommy’s name to help support his two beautiful angels.
Feel good story of the day… And a great job by Chuck Schumer. (I never thought I’d say that, and I feel kind of dirty now…)
From the AP, via the Troy Record:
A combat dog will finally be reunited in retirement with the ex-Marine handler with whom it was wounded in Iraq.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer told The Associated Press on Monday night that the Air Force has agreed to release Sgt. Rex into the care of former Cpl. Megan Leavey, of Rockland County, just north of New York City.
Leavey was injured with Rex in 2006 while trying to disarm an explosive. They convalesced together.
Rex is credited with saving lives and uncovering explosives that saved more.
Schumer had intervened when Leavey, a Purple Heart recipient, was first denied in her effort to adopt Rex in 2007. Rex was returned to service after he and Leavey had recovered from their injuries.
Now Rex, a black and brown German Shepherd, is 10 years and can’t continue his military service, but Schumer said bureaucracy still stood in the way of the adoption.
“We salute the Air Force and the Marines for doing the right thing and allowing Rex to be with Corporal Leavey,” Schumer said Monday night. “One canine, one human, both heroes. They should be united shortly, and we’re glad it’s happening.”
What makes this particularly emotional is that Rex has been diagnosed with a form of nerve paralysis, and Leavey was trying to adopt him before he was put down.
Great work Mr. Schumer, and thanks for your service Megan and Rex!