U.S. Army Specialist Joseph A. Kennedy was killed by small-arms fire on Friday in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his Helmand Province unit. He was 25.
Kennedy, known to friends and family as a free-spirited daredevil, was a 2004 Simley High School graduate and a St. Paul resident who had been deployed overseas since January, in a Star Tribune story.
Kennedy was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry out of Fort Knox, Ky.
Many of Kennedy's old high school teachers told the Pioneer Press he was a disciplined, respectful and hard working and had the makings of a good soldier.
"He is our hero," Kennedy's mother, Valerie, said in a Statement released Saturday by the Department of Defense. "We are extremely proud of him and his service to our country. He will be missed by many that loved him dearly."