Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Adam P. Kennedy dies of injuries from indirect enemy fire

Army Sgt. Adam Kennedy, a rock climbing enthusiast and Norwich University graduate who began his first tour of duty in Iraq last fall, was killed by a blast from an improvised explosive device south of Baghdad.

Kennedy, 25, was killed Sunday when his unit was hit with indirect fire while conducting combat control near Diwaniyah, Iraq, said Army spokesman Capt. Richard C. Hyde.

Hyde also announced the death of another Fort Richardson, Alaska, paratrooper, killed Monday when his unit was hit with indirect fire while working at an Iraqi police station in Karmah, Iraq. That soldier's identity has not been released.

Kennedy, of Norfolk, Mass., was an infantryman who joined the Army in August 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in January 2005.

Kennedy's family members did not immediately know any additional details of the circumstances of Sunday's attack, his father, David Kennedy, and mother, Nancy Smyth, said by telephone from the family home in Norfolk.

Kennedy, 25, served in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based in Fort Richardson and was sent to his first tour in Iraq in October.

"His lifelong ambition was to be in the military," his father said. "He really loved the discipline, and the physical conditioning."

Kennedy's unit provided security for an Army colonel, clearing hidden explosives and otherwise ensuring safe passage for convoys. The work frequently put Kennedy's unit in danger - a reality that became clear to his family when he returned for a 10-day leave late last year.

"He was obviously subdued, and changed by the danger," his father said.

David Kennedy said his son telephoned him last Thursday and told him he would be on special duty requiring him to be out of contact for about a month.

Despite the risks, Kennedy in December made a commitment to remain with the Army for another six years, his father said.

Kennedy, who was single, graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood in 2000. He graduated from Norwich University, a private military college in Northfield, Vt., in 2004, majoring in computer science, according to a statement from the university.

At Norwich, he spent time away from his studies rock-climbing in the Green Mountains, and participated in a cold weather rescue team, his parents said.

Although he had little background as a runner, he last year finished a marathon during a break from military training in Alaska.

"He ran a respectable time his first time out," his father said.

From the Daily News