Updated 08/10/2012 07:35 PM
Community mourns loss of Maj. Thomas Kennedy
One of our nation's sons is killed while serving the country. Major Thomas Kennedy dies in Afghanistan during a suicide attack. He leaves behind a wife, young twin children and a heartbroken extended family. YNN's Elaina Athans has more.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Mourning among the West Point community and well beyond after a high ranking, highly-decorated soldier was killed in combat. Major Thomas Kennedy died in Afghanistan Wednesday in suicide attack. It happened less than a month after being in country.
The 35-year-old was a graduate of the United States Military Academy and was still very much entrenched in the school's day-to-day affairs. He was president of the Army Hockey Association and for the last four years was an officer representative for the team. He mentored the players, traveling with them to games and though a major, he was affectionately greeted and known simply as "TK." The team's coach was vacation when he learning of Kennedy's passing.
"He was one of the most caring people you’d ever meet. Never really caring about himself," said Army Ice Hockey Coach Brian Riley.
Riley has known Kennedy long before his current ties to the team. Riley recruited Kennedy to come to West Point to play hockey and saw him transform over time.
"It's a really, really tough this that you recruit these young men to come to West Point and then this happened. But I do know that this is what TK wanted to do. He was a great Army officer," said Riley.
Kennedy served two tours in Iraq before his deployment in Afghanistan. He is the third West Point graduate to be killed overseas since May.
“They’ve lost three graduates in a short number of days and it’s very sad. It’s very, very sad," said Highland Falls Mayor Joe O'Onofrio.
O'Donodrio is now organizing a civilian send off for this soldier.
"We are also crying down here. We are very close to West Point and every time this happens, we remember the Corps of Cadets and the affiliation that we have, so it’s hard for us too," said D'Onofrio.
Kennedy will be laid to rest with full honors Friday. Flags will fly at half staff that same day throughout the state as a tribute to the man, who dedicated his life to duty, honor, country.