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SGT Courtland Kennard of Starkville, MS
Died in Iraq on November 9, 2006

A Complete Kid in Honor of SGT Courtland Kennard from Starkville MS

Courtland Kennard knew what it meant to be in the military long before he joined the Army. He was the son of a soldier. His father, Staff SGT Douglas Kennard, spent 21 years in the service, carrying his family from assignment to assignment. No matter where they moved, however, their roots were always in Mississippi.

Courtland was born in Starkville and went to schools all over the country. He graduated from high school in Wiesbaden, Germany. Teachers and coaches alike loved Courtland, citing his huge smile and dependable personality. “He was a complete kid,” said his coach Jim Campbell. “He was our best defensive player and a consummate team player.” Several of his teachers recognized that Courtland had a strong sense of duty, and that he had been deeply affected by the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Courtland Kennard joined the Army in January 2003. He was deployed to Iraq in July 2006. SGT Kennard was an MP (Military Policeman) On November 9, 2006, SGT Kennard was the lead driver in a group of four humvees when his vehicle was hit by an IED. The blast critically wounded SGT Kennard and killed a second passenger, Staff SGT Gregory McCoy. SGT Kennard would die a short time later at a hospital in Baghdad.

His loss was felt deeply by his family. His father was in his 21st year of Army service, preparing to retire. His mother, Darlene Kennard, knew her son loved the military and had heard from several people that he was doing an excellent job. It came as no surprise to her, though. By age 14, Courtland had said he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He did just that by choosing to serve and sacrifice for his country. But as much as Courtland wanted to honor his father's legacy, his father honored and loved his son. "He was a great young man," Douglas Kennard said. "I am going to miss him a lot."

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Courtland Kennard was the consummate team player according to his coach, and the team's best defender.

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