Spc joseph kennedy

SPC Joseph A. Kennedy

  • Branch: Army
  • Hometown/City: Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • Date of Birth: 12-01-1985
  • Date of Death: 04-15-2011
  • Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Unit: 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
  • Port/Base: Fort Knox, KY

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  • Joe, nothing made me more proud to create a special wall for you in our house with many family pictures. It displays a beautiful picture of a "Soldier Angel" which reminds me of you.

    It says... Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

    I also created a collage of fun pictures of you and a shadow box with all your flowers. You have a special shelf underneath your picture with roses and celtic crosses. On the left and right side of you, you have angels with gold candles. These candles were lit for you all day on Thanksgiving and it will be again on your birthday and Christmas as well. I know your body is not with us presently, but I feel you and Dad (your grandpa), so much everyday. Thank you! Have a happy birthday (Dec. 1), I am sure you are going to have one heck of a party! Love you! Aunt Amy

    Thinking about you! 3-1-12 Wrap your arms around your mom tonight! Wish her a very Happy Birthday!

    Amy Bergum, Aunt
  • To Jim, Val and Casey and most of all Joe,

    First thing first - Love to all of you from the bottom on my heart :)

    This year (2011) has been a great challenge with the loss of Joe, there is not enough words for me to express my true lost of him and how much we all miss everything about Joe. But this also brings up so many good memories of how much Joe has touched us all in his own way. Our family has grown even closer, we have met so many other special friends and military families that will continue to touch our lives for the years to come.

    Joe, for many of us (or for me) we feel we are in daily contact with you just because your Facebook page allows us to talk/reach out to you. Thanks to your parents on keeping your page open - it truly helps at difficult times and just to say how much we miss you - I know it's part of my healing process.

    I'm sure you are aware of so many loved ones getting their "special ink" (tattoos) to always remember you and your sacifice. I'm very proud of you and I pray that your new life journey is everything you want it to be. Say "Hi" to Dad, Great Grandma Honeybunch, David & Nate for me along with all your other brothers in arms that have fallen as well. Until we see each other again - SDMF - with all my Love, Mary

    Mary Morris, Aunt
  • Hey Joe, I've never believed in Heaven before, but now that you've been taken from us, I know that I do. Maybe not a Heaven like they say in the Bible, but your own kind of Heaven, where you're with all of your loved ones and you get to be in all of your most cherished places. I know we didn't have many talks together, but just spending time with you at family gatherings was enough for me to love you endlessly. I remember going to your house for Thanksgiving once. You and Jaime were messing with Casey and eventually took him upstairs, outside, and stuffed him into a trash can. Mike and Pat probably helped with that. Casey complained about it, but everyone laughed because we knew he loved the attention from you guys. And another time where we were all at Pioneer Park, they all pinned him down and poked his forehead, all the while you were telling him to "name ten candy bars, name ten candy bars." He eventually ran up a tree and wouldn't come down for what felt like an hour. You were one of the most determined people in our family. You had such a "zest for life," as your mom would say. We are all so proud of you, and always will be, for your commitment to the family, to your goals, and to the nation. Now that you're gone, we're all lost. I feel like I need to help Casey get through this, but I don't know how. I don't know how to deal with the pain of losing you so suddenly; I've honestly never shed more tears than I've shed for you. There isn't a single day that I don't think about you, and even though I didn't get to go to the funeral to say goodbye to you, I danced my heart out for you that day, and every day since. I hope you saw it. Every night when I hug Teddy, I know that wherever you are, you're getting that hug. I want you to know that we are all doing our best to look after your mom and dad and Casey, so you don't need to worry about them. I want to ask you a favor though: wherever you are, tell Aunt Nansi and Ann and Grandma Suzy hello from all of us down here, and make sure that they're doing well up there just like you. I love you infinitely Joe, and I miss you. Love always, Aud

    Audrey Smebakken, First Cousin
  • Happy Birthday Joe! Our family has always been big on birthdays. It is a celebration of life. You lived your life a hero in the military. I am very happy that your military life agreed with you and you were passionate about the difference you were making for our country. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. In turn, we will also celebrate April 15, for your accomplishments, your memory and celebrate your new eternal life. I like to think of you as our family soldier guarding a place for us in heaven. As your aunt and Godmother, I bless you. As a former Officer, I salute you. I see your smile. Help your friends and family learn to smile again and only produce tears of joy and thankfulness.

    Three days after your death I wrote a poem. This took minutes because it came from YOU, not me. I had to look it up to reprint it. Our family presented your family with your picture and this poem:

    My time was destined in the stars before I even existed.
    Suddenly, God decided that I would turn flesh and be born
    December 1, 1985...My Time.

    My time here on earth is finite.
    Each second of time that passes can never be regained or lived again.
    Time is precious. Time cannot be bought, it is priceless, infinite.
    I hope I have lived my time well.

    Suddenly, God decided My Time ... April 15, 2011 was of my death.
    This time was also predestined before I existed.
    I didn't know my death would be this day, it was just...My Time.

    God rescues us in HIS timing, not ours.
    Please trust in God's timing.
    May the peace that goes beyond understanding comfort you.

    Our time will come together again in God's plan.
    I have eternity to live. This is God's promise.
    In heaven now, My Time ... is... Timeless.
    I pray we all learn to live life to the fullest, caring for one another and share in the covenant with God. Our guarantee with birth is that we will die here on earth. How we live our lives in between these dates affects our eternity. You will always be missed and loved. Thanks for being you Joe. Love, Vicki

    Adam Leichliter, Uncle
  • You are our hero, Joe. May you rest in peace.

    Janet and Peter White, First Cousin
  • Its hard to say goodbye to someone so young and who meant so much to me. Tax day for me will always mean the day that I lost a real hero. I treasure your last phone call to me. Joe you followed your dreams and gave the ultimate for all of us. I am so grateful to have known you and to know your family.
    I know you will forever rest in peace with your other heroes and buds.

    W R Luckow, Friend
  • A salute to you and your fellow soldiers Joe from one infantryman to another..a heartfelt salute to all of your family.

    Jimmie L. Coulthard, Friend
  • Joe - you will continue to touch the lives of many because of your friendship, service, bravery and ultimate sacrifice. The sparkle in your eyes, the mischief in your grin, and the song in your laugh are with us forever because of the love we shared. There is a gaping hole where you once were - a hole that will never be filled by anyone or anything.

    You have inspired me to live a life worth living, a life that honors my family, friends and my country, to stand true to my beliefs and believe in myself. Thank you for all of those things and more! Because of you, I am a better person and I only hope that I can touch a portion of the lives you did in your short time with us.

    Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands.... much love to you forever.

    Heidi Hansen, First Cousin
  • Joe,
    It's hard for me to put into words how I feel when I think about you. I can't help but feel that you were taken from us far too young, but I also know that you were doing what you knew to be right. I will always remember you as my baby cousin, the little guy who's by my side in so many photos, which I remember as well as the day they were taken. I'll also always know that "Baby Cousin" could have kicked my butt by the time he grew up. Sharing my emotions has never been a particularly strong suit of my mine, but know that I will always respect you, I will always remember you, and I will always love you.-Michael

    Michael Zellmer, First Cousin
  • Dear Joe,
    I will always have you in my heart and hold onto the fact that I believe I will see again soon ( at 79 I think using the word soon is not out of line)in heaven.

    You were always so loving and respectful as a child and continued to be as you grew up. I miss your sparkling eyes and wonderful smile. The light of your soul showed through your earthly body. I love you. Come visit me sometime.

  • Joe, I'm not sure that you will ever truly understand how much respect I have for you. You are the true meaning of the words brother, family, friend and hero. The amount of people whose life's you have touched is beyond what anyone would have thought. But in all honesty you are not done. It only takes a story or two to be told for someone to understand what kind of person you were. I was always cherish being able to live with you. That is something that will always be close to my heart. You my dear cousin are greatly loved and missed by so many. You were always there for me no matter what the situation was. And there was never any questions asked. You were a great person to talk to. You listened and never judged. No matter what the outcome was, as long as I was happy, that's all you cared about.

    Feel free to stop in from time to time... Until the day we meet again, SDMF my brother. Love you always and miss you everyday.

    Kelly Morris, First Cousin
  • Joe

    your mom, dad and Casey are so proud of who you are,what you believe in,your determination, your wit. Your infectious smile is so missed by many. I think about you and your mom, dad and Casey every single day. Thank you for your courage and standing up for what you believed in,for fighting for our great nation, and most of all,giving the greatest sacrifice ever. I know you are in eternal happiness and someday you will all be together again. Val-you have been my best friend for over 35 years and I couldn't of asked for a better best friend. I have said many times that I would do anything for you and I sincerely mean that. I love you more than words can ever say. I take comfort by the love and respect you and Jim have for each other and the love and respect you have for Joe and Casey and all your family and your huge circle of friends. I will always be here for you and your family.
    God bless you all.

    Denise Bauman, Friend
  • To the young man that lived a lifetime in just more than 25 years -you gave me another family. Thank you for your sacrafice, drive, and enthusiasm for life. You have an amazing family that truly shares you - each and every time we talk I get to know just a little more of you, Joe. It is because of Soldiers like you that I am so proud to serve and wear the uniform. It has been an honor to stand beside your family and provide a bit of comfort. Please know that while I was never able to meet you that I truly look forward to that moment. You are a true American Hero - my hero. Until we meet.....

    Tori Clunis, Friend
  • Joe - I will never forget when I first met you, in my eyes you had it all. You had such a zeal for life. You will always and forever be apart of me with every step that I take. I feel like you are watching over me and keeping all of us safe. You are a true hero Joe. I strive to be a better person and to have honor in everything I do. You have touched my life as well as many others, and you will never be forgotten. "Every step of the way, I can feel you there watching over me."

    RYAN BENDALL, Fellow War Veteran
  • Joe-
    No matter how hard I try I will never be able to put into words the impact you had on my life. You are more then a best friend, a fellow soldier, a brother your my HERO. Threw you I bettered myself, you were the light house in the stormiest part of my life. You smacked me in the head when I was drowning my sorrows in the bottle and taught me the strength of music. Your name will always be sacred in my house. I still remember the last time we seen each other we were in Bagram you were getting ready to head out to your FOB. I put my hand out for a hand shake you looked at it and up at me back at the hand and back at me and said "Brothers don't shake hands brothers HUG". Little did I know that would have been one of the last times we talked let alone see each other. Not an hour goes by that I don't think about you.

    My brother I hope you know how much I love you, how much you mean to me, and how much I miss you. It has by my HONOR to call you my Brother.

    I will always smack Casey around when he needs it and be there for your Mom and MR.Clean (You told me to say it) whenever they need help with anything.

    Rest easy brother I got it from here.

    Always in my thoughts, Forever in my heart.


    Jon Bilderback, Fellow War Veteran
  • To Joe Kennedy,

    There is so much I could say about your character, your attitude, your judgement, knowledge, personality or spirit. You were from the start, in my opinion, echelons above your peers. You're a friend, and true friends for me are very valued. Needless to say, you will never be forgotten on this end.

    As a leader in the Military, the hardest thing I've ever had to do was not fight, or heal from wounds, or pass a school, or muster up courage in a trying time. It was to see a fellow fallen Soldier. A brother. In your passing, you took a piece of me, and that I'll never get back. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to spend even an iota of time in your presence, it truly was an honor and a privilege to not only know you, but to have worked at your side.

    You were among the best Joe, and your sacrifice was not in vain. I pray I see you again one day,

    Yours, Sincerely and Respectfully, SFC "Johnny" Huff

    John Huff, Fellow War Veteran
  • Joe my brother. I miss you incredibly. We'll be home in a few days, but you'll be on my mind. Wish we could hit the bars and get innebriated but instead I'll say a prayer and hold a toast to you. Miss you bro

    Shane Laufer, Fellow War Veteran
  • Hi Joe,

    Lucy and I have been thinking about you every day since you left us. It is especially difficult with the holidays upon us. This much we know: God liked you instantly when you met face to face. (He already loved you.) He saw the perfection of his work in your eyes. He liked your smile, your courage, your presence and everything else about you. He liked that you made a difference on so many levels. I know that you are beside him right now keeping vigil over us. We are all deeply comforted that both of you now "have our backs"н².

    Thomas Royston, Friend
  • Joe....so many things I wish I could talk to you about. There isn't very many days that go by that I don't think of you. Anytime there is something related to you, whether its a song, a memory, etc. I still get tears in my eyes. Every time a snowflake flies or a rain drop falls. You will always be with me, this I know. I am humbled to know you and god are watching over my family and I. I have few memories but the memories I do have, I cherish more than ever. I wish there could have been more but your life was taken far to soon. I thank you and love you for your service and sacrifice. Until we meet again. Never goodbye, always see you later! Come see me again I would love another visit!

    Alicia Rutten, Friend
  • Joe... There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. It doesn't matter what I do something always reminds me of you. It is amazing the impact that one person can have on someones life and yet you don't know that as you are just friends. It is almost impossible to describe the Respect, Honor, and Integrity that we all have for each other. We didn't know it at the time but we all push each other to be the best that we can. I will always remember and cherish all the times we had together. You are an amazing and talented person that I am honored to have as a part of my life. Thank you for everything

    Kevin Rutten, Friend
  • Joe,

    It's hard to express how much gratitude I have for being able to be a part of your life, not only as a close cousin, but as a close friend and even as the brother I never had. You are one of the most passionate, energetic and thoughtful people I have ever had the chance to know and love. I am thankful every day that I am able to know you and what you stood for. Your personal values and interests have truly had an impact on me for the rest of my life.

    I miss your awesome smile and your attitude, although I can see you and hear you every day in my thoughts. Your close friendship with Dan is true a gift that I am so proud of, as much as Dan is of his tribute to you on his arm.

    I'll do my best to stay strong as long as you keep a close eye over all of us. Love you and SDMF ~ KOR Pinky

    Katie Morris, First Cousin
  • Joe,

    Thank you. You are my brother. I cannot tell you how much love and respect runs through me when I think of you. There are reminders of you in everything that I love. My son, my wife, my friends. That fact that you are no longer here is something that I do not believe that I will ever grasp. All I can do to deal with the pain of your absence is to tell and share your stories.

    Through you, I have gained so much. Two fantastic Grandparents and one amazing uncle for Harrison. That's you Casey. Most of all, we all gained some of the greatest memories that anyone in the world would be lucky to carry with them...

    Laura, Harrison, and I miss you every day. It's rare to meet a person that fully influences your life. I am lucky to have spent so much of mine with you. We are so very proud of the person you are and the people that you have helped us become.

    I love you, brother.

    Timothy Holzemer, Sibling
  • Joe,

    I think about you every day!
    You continue to make me laugh, teach me lessons, help me be strong.
    I laugh when I think of your contagious bright smile & all of the fun/crazy things you did. I love hearing new stories from your friends.
    You have taught me many lessons, the most important to me is to LIVE life full throttle. LIVE life without fear, LIVE life with humor & get the most out of life that you can! You are an inspiration. You are my hero.

    You help me be strong, I look at you as a pillar of strength, determination, passion & honor. I find myself asking what would Joe do ....The new WWJD :)

    I want to thank you for bringing all of us closer together, teaching all of us how to express love more easily, and for all of the new "family" & friends you have brought to our lives. Even though we have lost you...our family grew..in many ways.

    Thank you Joe,



    I'll leave the "DING" for your Mom :)

    Ericka Hakanson, Aunt/Uncle
  • Joe,

    I will always remember your quiet intensity. Anyone who met you for the first time could never assume that you were indifferent or uncaring. I always had the sense that you were patiently waiting for your moment. The stories of the impact you had on your fellow soldiers only reaffirm what we all sensed. That you were cut from the very best cloth. We will all miss you. God Bless and Godspeed.

    Cousin Andy

    Andy Smebakken, First Cousin
  • To Joe,
    The hole you left is big. A lot bigger, I think, than you probably figured it might be. The people you touched and the lives you changed are just that: changed. Never to go back to "normal." There's a new normal now, for an awful lot of people.
    For me, our family seems incomplete again, and I suppose it'll take a few years before the family get-togethers feel normal again. For your mom and dad and your brother, it'll never really feel right, and that makes me sad. Sad to see good people hurt in ways that can only be healed through time and Grace.
    But Joe, most of all, I'm really sad that I didn't get to thank you in person. Thank you for your time and your love and your service. Thank you for setting an example for my brothers. Thank you for being afraid, probably every day you were away from your family, and for going anyways. Thank you for being the boots on the ground, for being a fighting force for freedom, for being the tangible reminder of what our country stands for. If God had to take you, then I thank God that He is using your death to do good things here. People who probably never cared about our country now stand and raise their hands to their hearts when the Anthem plays. People who had no reason to seek God before have a lot of reason now.
    I thank God also that you hear my gratitude. Keep an eye on my guys down here, if you have time between all the other requests! I know you're probably pretty busy and all, and there's probably an awful lot of road to travel at 180 mph in Heaven. At least, if it's any sort of Heaven for Joe Kennedy, there is.
    My love to you. You're sorely missed.

    To Casey, Jim, & Val,
    If tears could speak, mine would have a lot to say.
    Love to you all,

    Lee Geffre, First Cousin
  • Dear Joe,

    What I only can imagine is that you are as proud of your parents, brother and extended family as they are of you. You were truly blessed to have come from such an amazing family who have taught us by example how to honor and cherish our loved ones even in the most devastating circumstances. Thank you for your wonderful and important life. With sicere gratitude for the sacrifice you have made for me, my family, my country and my loved ones,

    Lisa Dockter, Friend
  • April 3rd 2011 - I posted on your wall: Tim and I officially decided it's we miss Joe day today. Little did we know that April 15th 2011 this would become our new reality.

    Joe -
    As I write this message - it makes me cry. I cry because you're not here. I cry because a mother and father are without a son. A brother is without his older brother. A best friends is without his partner in crime and the world is without you. It's not always tears when I think about you. A lot of the times it's smiles and laughs.

    You have touched so many lives including mine. You have reminded me to live as you did at full throttle. Never take things for granted and everyone has a quality in them in which would make them a good friend.

    I thank you for the memories I have of you, the family that we share and your service. You have given your life so that we can raise Harrison in a world worth living. He will know that his Uncle Joe was an amazing man.

    My love to you Joe always.
    (Harrison sends you his love too)

    May Joe's soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace and may the perpetual light shine upon them. May his family find peace and comfort knowing their son gave his life for all of us. May we offer our gratitude to Joe's service and prayers and support to his family as they deal with his death. We ask in Your loving name Lord, Amen.

    Laura Holzemer, Friend
  • Hmmmmmmm, That smile what a beautiful smile I can only imagine what Christmas is like in Heaven . Show me the everything when I see you again Joe. Watch over my Ricky get him home safe. Love you for always.

    Jackie Rooney, Aunt/Uncle
  • Joe,
    It seems like you struggled to find yourself as a young adult, until you joined the Army. We are so proud of the man you became. You are strong, brave and an excellent example to all of your family. We love you, we miss you and we will always remember our "Shmoe".
    Love, Frank and Cara

    Frank and Cara Skoglund, Aunt/Uncle