Veneta soldier honored.Byline: Eric Florip The Register-Guard
ELMIRA - It was a keepsake no military mother wants to receive.
Army Sgt. Jared Graves presented Linda Peterson-Phillips Smith with a neatly folded U.S. flag Monday afternoon at a memorial service in Elmira commemorating the death of her son Joseph Paul Kenny Paul Kenny is General Secretary of the GMB.
Kenny had been defeated heavily by Kevin Curran in the 2003 GMB General Secretary Election. However, he was appointed Acting General Secretary on 24 March 2005 following Curran's resignation. . Kenny was also Graves' brother-in- law.
About 200 of Spc. Kenny's family, friends, comrades and other veterans gathered in the Elmira High School
Gov. Ted Kulongoski Theodore R. "Ted" Kulongoski (born November 5 1940, in rural Missouri) is an American Democratic politician. Since 2003, he has served as the Governor of Oregon. He was re-elected in 2006. addressed the gathering, speaking at his second military funeral A military funeral is a funeral given by a country's military for a veteran, a soldier who died in battle, or another prominent military figure. When heads of state die, they often receive military funerals. in as many weeks after Dominic Nathaniel Rodriguez of Klamath Falls Klamath Falls, city (1990 pop. 17,737), seat of Klamath co., SW Oreg., at the southern tip of Upper Klamath Lake; inc. 1905. It is the processing and distribution center of a lumber, livestock, and farm area. died in Baghdad on the same day that Kenny died.
"I must tell you that as much as I love this area, I prayed that I would never have to come back to mourn the loss of a soldier," said Kulongoski, who once lived near Junction City Junction City, city (1990 pop. 20,604), seat of Geary co., NE Kans., at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers; inc. 1859. The rail, trade, and processing center of an agricultural and dairy area, it grew as the supply point for nearby Fort Riley, . "(Kenny) was the best Oregon has to offer."
Close family and friends remembered Kenny for his bright personality, sense of humor Noun 1. sense of humor - the trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous; "she didn't appreciate my humor"; "you can't survive in the army without a sense of humor"
sense of humour, humor, humour and selflessness. Comrades praised his leadership and work ethic work ethic
A set of values based on the moral virtues of hard work and diligence.
a belief in the moral value of work on duty.
"I didn't know him personally," Kulongoski said. "But I feel I've gotten to know him, and gotten to know his character."
Family members also compiled and played a 20-minute video slideshow chronicling Kenny's life from his time as an infant to his final months and days in Oregon and Iraq. Pictures often showed Kenny's fun-loving side - making faces or pretending to dress as a woman in some cases - drawing laughs from some and tears from others. Frames near the end showed him with his fiancee, Ashley Brodkorb.
Sobs filled the gymnasium when a military officer played "Taps" as an Honor Guard held a flag above Kenny's silver casket and, from outside, the sound of gunshots echoed through the doors during a rifle salute.
Many of those present were unacquainted veterans who simply wanted to pay respects to one of their own.
The Patriot Guard Riders, a traveling veterans' group, lined the walkway into the gym and silently held dozens of American flags above visitors as they filed into the building for the service.
The group exemplified a larger camaraderie within each branch of the military, said Ken Brown, a Eugene pastor who led the ceremony.
"I think it says there's still a group of people who love their country," Brown said after the service. "Whether or not they agree with the war, they're here to say, 'You know what, he's our guy, and we're going to support him.' '
Following the ceremony, dozens approached the front of the gymnasium to embrace and console Smith, Brodkorb and other family members.
"They say that making sense of death is hard," Brown said. "But they say that making sense of senseless death is even harder."
Kenny was born Dec. 26, 1986, in Eugene. He enlisted in May 2005, shortly before graduating from Elmira High School, and he was deployed to Iraq last fall.
Kenny worked as an electronics devices repairman re·pair·man
A man whose occupation is making repairs.
Noun 1. repairman - a skilled worker whose job is to repair things
maintenance man, service man with the 4th Brigade Combat Team The brigade combat team (BCT) is the basic deployable unit of maneuver in the US Army. A brigade combat team consists of one combat arms branched maneuver brigade, and its attached support and fire units. , 1st Cavalry Division.
He died in an undisclosed noncombat incident that remains under investigation, according to military officials at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Kenny was the 17th member of the 4th Brigade to have died in the current campaign. He is the 91st soldier with Oregon ties to have died in Operation Enduring Freedom or the war in Iraq, and the third from Lane County.