Major given hero’s farewell at West Point funeral
WEST POINT (from Mid Hudson News) – Major Thomas Kennedy, a native of New City, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 8, was eulogized as a patriot who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country. Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno also attended the moving ceremony.
A 2000 graduate of West Point, the 35-year-old Kennedy was buried at the Post Cemetery after a funeral at the Cadet Chapel on Friday.
Congresswoman Nan Hayworth attended the funeral and burial. She called Kennedy's death “a terrible sacrifice” and said the county should take pause about staying in Afghanistan.
“We need to think very, very hard about how long we continue, and how we continue, this mission in Afghanistan,” she said. “It has to be based on crucial strategic priorities and Major Kennedy’s death gives us pause yet again that what are we accomplishing there because every life that we lose is precious.”
State Senator William Larkin, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, said the service was “one of the most moving ceremonies” he has ever attended.
Major Kennedy was killed in action August 8, 2012 in Kunar Province in Afghanistan. Kennedy was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Ft. Carson, Colorado.
He was raised in New City, NY, and attended Clarkstown schools as well as Don Bosco Preparatory School in Ramsey, NJ, and the Salisbury Preparatory School in Connecticut. He was commissioned to the Army on May 27, 2000 after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his time as a cadet at West Point, Major Kennedy was a member of the Army hockey team. Major Kennedy served in Iraq from February 2003-2004 and again in Iraq from August 2005-2006. Upon his return, Major Kennedy was selected to become a Tactical Officer at West Point, during which he also earned a Master's degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Upon returning to West Point, Major Kennedy volunteered as an Officer Representative for the hockey team and served as the President of the Army Hockey Association.
Major Kennedy earned dozens of awards and service medals, including Bronze Star Medal (2), Purple Heart and Bronze Star Posthumous, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal (3), Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star, Iraq Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star (4), Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge and Ranger Tab.
He is survived by his wife Kami Joyce Kennedy, son Brody Thomas, daughter Margaret Mae.
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