Army Sgt. Courtland Anshun Kennard


Former DODDS student-athlete killed by bomb in Iraq

Published: November 17, 2006

WIESBADEN, Germany — It’s almost as if his infectious smile and good graces reached across the Great Divide to touch his mentors one last time.

“He was such a good kid,” Sharon O’Donnell said. “The first thing you noticed about him was his great smile, and his personality matched it.”

The Defense Department announced this week that Army Sgt. Courtland Kennard died in Baghdad. As with so many casualties in this conflict, the 22-year-old military policeman and another soldier were done in by a roadside bomb.

Kennard served with the 410th Military Police Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas.

But in Europe, teachers and administrators at Gen. H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden didn’t know him as Sgt. Kennard. They knew him as Courtland, a 2002 high school graduate and a dependable, selfless, stand-up teen you could always, always count on.

“He wasn’t a starter, but he was our best defensive player,” said varsity basketball coach Jim Campbell. Kennard was “the consummate team player. He was not concerned with the highlight reel.”

“He was just a complete kid,” Campbell said.

On Thursday, in the Wiesbaden high school teacher’s lounge, a stuffed toy bear — sporting a Warrior varsity jacket — and a box of decorative stationery greeted teachers and administrators.

Teacher Maureen Flock said she was asking colleagues for any memories they may have of a student that so many of them held in high esteem. The bear and the notes were to be sent to the Kennard family in Mississippi, where he will be laid to rest Saturday.

“It’s a tremendous loss,” said O’Donnell, who knew Kennard when she was an assistant principal at H.H. Arnold. His death “really shook me up. It’s hard to believe.”

O’Donnell, now the principal of Mannheim American High School, spoke of Kennard’s upbeat personality, his work ethic, supportive family and that magic smile. And she sure wasn’t alone in her sentiments.

“It just went ear-to-ear,” she said. “You couldn’t help but smile when he smiled. It was infectious.”

Like O’Donnell, Susan Krummrei, a health and science teacher, was surprised that Kennard had joined the military. She described him as a gentle, sensitive and respectful young man. But Krummrei added that Kennard, the son of a soldier, also possessed a profound sense of duty and, like many of his contemporaries, was deeply affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Joining the military “was extremely noble and was very Courtland,” Krummrei said. “I’m sure [the attacks] really weighed heavily on him.”

She and others at school attributed his strength of character to his parents — his father, Douglas, and his mother, Darlene, who worked in the Wiesbaden school bus office. Kennard’s kid brother, Jamal, is said to carry himself in the same manner.

“He was a wonderful kid,” O’Donnell said.

From: BC-MS--Iraq-Mspi Casualty JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _

Douglas Kennard says his son, Army Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard, was "a great young man, very energetic and fun-loving". "And now, I am going to miss him a lot," the elder Kennard told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The soldier, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last week, grew up in a military family and moved frequently. Still, the family always maintained close ties to Starkville, and the north Mississippi city was listed as Kennard's home when the Department of Defense announced his death. Funeral arrangements for the 22-year-old are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Peiler Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville, said Douglas Kennard. Kennard said his son will be buried in Starkville.

A great-uncle, Bobby Macon of Starkville, said Kennard visited relatives in Mississippi in July, shortly before being sent to Iraq. "He was just a little quiet kid, smiled a lot. I can't recall him ever getting in any trouble," Macon said Monday.

The Defense Department announced Monday that Kennard and Staff Sgt. Gregory McCoy, 26, of Webberville, Mich., were killed Thursday when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle in Baghdad. Kennard and McCoy were assigned to the Army's 410th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade based out of Fort Hood, Texas.

The Associated Press has counted at least 45 soldiers with strong Mississippi ties who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One, Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Robinson, died in Afghanistan, while the others were killed in Iraq.

Douglas Kennard said he and his wife presently live in Foot Hood, Texas, where he is preparing to retire after 21 years in the Army. Courtland Kennard attended elementary school in Starkville and graduated from General H. H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 2002, while his father was stationed there. He was a young teenager when he decided he'd eventually join the military, Macon said. "When he got about 14, he kind of just wanted to follow his daddy's footsteps," Macon said.

Kennard's survivors include his parents; brother Jamar Kennard; and grandparents Emma Kennard and C.D. and Luevenia Simmons, all of Starkville.

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 28, 2006.

Supporters Unveil New Veterans' Monument

Carl Smith | November 12, 2013 9:46:27 AM

Photo by: Micah Green/Dispatch Staff.

Thomas Boyd and Walter Zuber, both retired sergeants, check out the new monument outside of the Oktibbeha County Courthouse honoring local soldiers that have given the ultimate sacrifice dating back to the first World War. The monument was unveiled following a Veterans Day service that included the reading of all the names etched on the memorial.

After Jeff Donald finished his Veterans Day speech dedicating Oktibbeha County's newest memorial to fallen local servicemen, he said he couldn't help but be overwhelmed with emotions.

Monday's dedication at the courthouse marked the fulfillment of a vision Donald had about five years ago when those paying homage to Veterans Day read aloud the name of Army Sgt. Courtland Anshun Kennard, a Starkville-born soldier who died the previous year while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A plaque that stood on the courthouse grounds at the time no longer had room for additional entries.

Donald and a band of organizers went to work in the following years so Kennard's sacrifice would be remembered. Another Starkville serviceman, Army Cpl. Robert "Taylor" McDavid, would fall two years later again in Iraq, fueling their quest.

"We all have friends who did not return. I do not want to forget them," said Donald, a retired infantryman and co-chair of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership's Military Affairs Committee. "If we didn't add their names to this monument, people would forget the ultimate sacrifice that these people gave for our country. We engraved their names so when people come back, they will always remember."

The new monument itself cost in excess of $10,000 and was paid for through numerous private donations, as well as contributions from local businesses and organizations, including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups.

"The Military Affairs Committee...has worked tirelessly to raise funds and organize the construction and installation of the monument. I know I join the community in appreciation for their efforts and passion for honoring our community's veterans," said GSDP CEO Jennifer Gregory. "Starkville has a long history of military excellence including contributions to flight training and aerospace engineering, so it's especially fitting for us to take time to continue to honor that history and those individuals who have defended our nation's freedom."

Kennard joined the Army in Jan. 2003 and was deployed three years later to Iraq, where he served as a military policeman assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion of the 89th Military Police Brigade, a copy of Donald's Monday speech states. Kennard was killed that November after his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

McDavid enlisted in the Army in 2005 and deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division to Iraq a year later, Donald's speech states. While on foot patrol in 2008, he and four other soldiers were killed after an insurgent detonated an explosives-packed vest.

"We will never forget and always honor the sacrifices these two young men made for all of us," Donald said.

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch

Memories & Condolences
View Printed Guest Book
32 entries
June 10, 2014
Courtland we will miss you.We all were little kids over in (Maple, Italy). We are just finding out about your death when mom went looking for your family and saw your death picture. R.I.P. My brother.Love Alana & Jonathan. Friends from (N. Italy).
Alana &Jonathan Mack & Jones
June 8, 2014
May God Bless you all at this time of your loss. SGT.Court land. Is resting in his FATHER HANDS. I remember when SGT. Courtland was a little boy when we was over in (Naples . Italy). Love you all.Ms.Mary Jones.
Ms. Mary Jones
July 25, 2012
I loved you then and I love you now. Rip :) snuggy
tammy H
July 11, 2012
Hey Court, I cant believe its been so long since you left us. i miss you like it was yesterday. Give Sheldon a big hug from me... Keep watching over me, love always.
Ashley W
November 9, 2011
To the family and friends of Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard:
Please accept my remembrance of Courtland on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
November 9, 2010
To the family and friends of Army Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard:
Remembering Courtland on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
March 4, 2010
Court, Court I will never forget you....Cheering for you on th sidelines while you played ball.(lol) ill always be cheering for you cause you truly are an inspirtation to us all. Im so proud of you. Selfless is what you were in life and in death. We love you and all those great memories in Wiesbaden will keep you alive in my heart forever. i love you. Kiss mama for me.............
Shanita Perry-White
September 11, 2009
May 25, 2009
Rest in peace Sgt. Kennard. Thank you for your service to this country. God bless you and your family.
March 2, 2009
We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,450 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at or go to If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Kenna Larra
November 13, 2008
In Memory of Courtland ~ (Debra Estep)
Holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.

The Wind on The Downs

“I like to think of you as brown and tall,
As strong and living as you used to be,
In khaki tunic, Sam Brown belt and all,
And standing there and laughing down at me.
Because they tell me, dear, that you are dead,
Because I can no longer see your face,
You have not died, it is not true, instead
You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe;
I hear you laughing as you used to do,
Yet loving all the things I think of you;
And knowing you are happy, should I grieve?
You follow and are watchful where I go.”

(Written by Marian Allen during World War l )

Two lines that I wish you to keep near your heart…….

“You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe”

I did not know Courtland, but I am remembering
his service and sacrifice. He is my hero. !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Other Side

i'm over on the other side
where life and death softly divide.
left my skin and bones behind
now i'm over on the other side.

can you feel me there with you?
my breath is gone but i'm not through.
loved you then and i still do
from over on the other side.

i can fly. really fly.
below the earth ... all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

it's good here on the other side.
the sweetest songs...the bluest skies.
thank you for the tears you cried
but it's good here on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth...all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side

the world is smaller than a needle's eye.
where life and death softly divide.
when you leave your skin and bones behind
i'll be waiting on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth ... all through the sky.
go tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

Song lyrics by Don Conoscenti
C Desert Muse/SESAC
(Used with permission)

“I hope it brings great comfort to any and all.
Peace on you. DonCon” 4-2008

The Other Side –
(To hear the song)


Deb Estep ~ Ohio
Proud Air Force Mom SSgt Vince – Lackland AFB
Proud Air Force MIL SrA Dana – Randolph AFB

Remembering The Fallen – Blog

Angel and soldier drawing I have shared here.
November 10, 2008
It has been two years since you departed from this earth. To this day it is still hard to believe. Yet, I know God is taken excellent care of you (and Momma Darlene) in heaven. Even though you are forever in my heart. I miss your smile and laugh. Love you always. (BFF)
Antonetta Henderson
November 8, 2008
To the family of Army Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard:
Courtland gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
June 15, 2008
You are remembered and respected. Thank you Sgt Kennard!
November 4, 2007
My heart goes out to Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard. I don't know him but he will be miss.
Michael Johnson
August 21, 2007
There is nothing that I can say or do to take away the pain or bring you peace in your time of sorrow, but I will offer you and your family my heart felt condolences. I also offer you my prayers that in time the pain will easy and the memories of your HERO will carry you through each day and night. I want to thank your HERO, for his/her selfless act of becoming a member of the armed forces, his/her willingness to defend the United States of America, all that we hold sacred and for the sacrifice that will forever be etched in the memories of all those who knew him/her. Though tears can never bring him/her back, we hope that our tears express our gratitude for the sacrifice that he/she made and our sorrow at his/her passing. I believe for every fallen HERO there is a star shining brightly up above to remind us of the precious gift we were given.

Your mission on earth is complete and you are now a member of GOD’s Heavenly armed forces. Stand down brave warrior and take your rightful place in Heaven with all the HEROES who have passed before.

I made a special promise to LE RON A. WILSON, a dear family friend who joined the Army with three other friends, one of whom is my son (Le Ron was killed in action on 07/06/07 at the age of 18) on the day he was laid to rest as I touched his coffin, that I would never forget him nor would I forget those that gave their lives for our country before him, with him and after him and so when I came across, I thought what a great way to keep my promise to Le Ron, so I will continue to leave tributes in each guest book until the day there is no longer the need to leave these tributes to a FALLEN HERO.


Currently stationed in Germany
Althea Barrett(Queens, NY)
August 3, 2007
Thank you for the sacrifice made by Sgt Kennard and the sacrifice made by everyone who loves and misses him! May God bless all of you!!
June 8, 2007
Only God can heal the pain of a lost love one. I pray that he heal the broken heart, give you strength and peace in the heart and mind as life goes on. I can't imagine the burden this has placed upon your life, but God promised he would never leave you, nor forsake you. We must accept what God allows and sometimes what he allows come with a gut cry! but he's God. Be strengthned,cry, if you will because God is gonna wipe all of your tears away.
Be blessed, and rest in the lord.
patricia harris gray
May 31, 2007
Please accept my deepest condolences. I lost my son, Sgt. Jason W. Vaughn, on 10 May 2007 in Iraq. I always felt sorrow for every fallen soldier and their families before I lost my son; now I know the agonizing pain each family goes through. It's amazing how our worlds have come to a crashing halt, but everything else keeps going on. I am so sorry. May God bless you!
RaNae Vaughn
April 3, 2007

Robyn Garside
March 19, 2007
I will always remember your smile kennard. I will miss him dearly, we both served in the same unit and platoon. He is a very special person and soldier, he always was there for his fellow comrades.When you were down his smile always cheared you up. I will always charish kennard in my heart and always remember the great sacrific he took for this great nation and his family to be free.
SGT Michele Martin
January 30, 2007
Written to Honor the Service of Our Fallen Soldiers

Soldiers write history, we pay the price
Many miles distant, you live the life
Entered the Battle of our own free will
Out of Duty for Country, and we’d do it still

We hope and pray that all will find peace
In God, in the flag, in memories of valor
Gone now, our pride and courage you see
“An Army of One” our motto forever

Willing to risk all for love of our Brothers
We’re still Your Soldiers…and we showed the way
Our Lives too short, now pray for the others
Lived free died Heroes in lands far away

Deep within souls all cherished our Service
We’ll always have what some never know
Courage and Honor, our names forever
Lived life with purpose…just our time to go

We march in the Heavens with Honor and Glory
Missions accomplished we fought the Good Fight
Many years from now…we’ll tell the full story
Until that Day we will live in the Light

Our lives we laid down in a land far away
Still watching o’er you this night and by day
No need to talk…just know we are with you
There in your hearts and we hear what you pray

Yes we are your soldiers
Our lives we laid down
Still We guard o’er you
Still Duty bound

Entered the Battle of our own free will
Out of Duty for Country, and we’d do it still
We’ll always have what some never know
Lived life with purpose…it was our time to go
January 26, 2007
Please know that as time goes on, your family will remain in our thoughts and prayers. Prayers that God will bless you with comfort and peace, and prayers of thanksgiving for the heroes who have sacrificed everything for us. God Bless you and your family.
Lee Sirotnak
January 10, 2007
My, My, My I have been at this for a couple days now not knowing what to say or even know how to express my feelings. Everytime I think that I will not be able to see that handsome face of yours with that beautiful smile I can't seem to not cry but I have to remind myself that I have to cherish the time you were here and to not be so selfish and that its God's turn to have you close to him. I love you Court and you will always have a special place in my heart that will never be fulfilled by anyone else. Forever and always... love Courtney
Courtney Mitchell
January 9, 2007
Death is something that i would not wish on anybody not even my worst enemies because there is no coming back. When I got the word that my homie passed it woke me up to reality like one day you can be here the next day you wont.So what we all need to do is get down on our knees each day and thank GOD for allowing us to live another day. Court watch over all of us and keep us in your sight. My love and prayers go out the Kennard family. We all know that your are not really gone your still living with us in spirit. Forever and ever!!!
Kenneth Grant
January 8, 2007
Court, you were truly one of the kindest people I have ever met. Your smile was contagious...and still is. Everytime I look at your pictures I have nothing but good memories. You were an angel here on earth. I pray for your family. I know the loss of their oldest son is difficult to handle. But I also know that you are home now...and at peace. were a dear friend...and I miss you greatly. Til we meet again...know that I love you and miss you everyday. Besos XOXO
AC2 Alexa Mitchell
January 7, 2007
Courtland, while on this earth you accomplished so many things. Your lost had touched so many. Not only because you gave the ultimate sacrifice, but because of the person you were. In my lifetime I have never met anyone as loving, thoughtful, giving and outgoing as you. Hero and best friend, your physical presence is truly missed. I pray everyday for your mom, dad, brother, family and everyone who knew you during your time on this earth. Your spirit and warm smile will always remain. Rest in peace.
Antonetta Henderson
January 3, 2007
My heartfelt sympathy to the Kennard family in the loss of Courtland. I did not know Courtland, but my heart is broken and I am saddened for your loss of such a fine young person and hero. May God bring you peace in your heart as you reflect on all the wonderful memories you hold so close. Please know that you are in my heart and prayers. My heart was touched by the many wonderful/beautiful things written about you. Courtland you are my hero and you will NEVER be forgotten.
I send each of you a hug from the most inner part of my heart.
Love and Peace

To live in the hearts
of those you leave behind
is never to die"
~Robert Orr~
Tom Gugliuzza-Smith
December 23, 2006
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
1SG (RET) John L Wright
December 4, 2006
Please accept our family’s heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Your entire family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Marine Parents of
LCPL Craig Robidoux &
LCPL Derek Robidoux
Rick & Cathy Robidoux
November 29, 2006
My Deepest and most heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard.
The price this young hero and his family have paid for this country and for freedom, WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
There is so much thanks to be given, to these young heroes, for their Courage, Service and Dedication.
May Courtland rest safely in God's Care and may God's Loving Comfort and Grace be with the Kennard family.
I am the sister of such a young hero, who made the Ultimate Sacrifice in Vietnam, many years ago.

Hoping you can feel the thoughts of caring and support that surround you today, as this Country mourns with you, for someone very precious to you, who is a Hero to all of us.
Garnet Jenkins
November 28, 2006
To the Family of Army Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard:
I will stand in grief with this soldier's family to honor him. For every fallen HERO there is a bright star that shines in the evening sky to remind us of the cherished gift we were given – even if for too short a time.
My heart breaks again as I sign yet another guest book of another courageous young soldier who gave their life so selflessly. I wish I never found myself in a position to have to sign another guestbook for the rest of my life, but I promised Brent that neither he nor any like him would be forgotten and so I will continue until the day there is no longer the need.
We lost our son SFC Brent A. Adams on 12/1/05 and it seems like yesterday. I wish so badly there were things I could say to you right now to make the pain you are feeling go away, but I know first hand there simply are no words that will bring you the comfort and peace your heart aches for. Just know that you are not alone. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you all as you go through this tragedy moment by moment and as you mourn this loss.
We don't know each other, will probably never meet, but will forever be united in the loss of our Heroes. We have, unfortunately joined a group none of us wanted to join, an ever-growing group of families in this situation. May God grant you peace and strength to get through this and be able once again to smile at a memory rather than have only the tears that flow so easily now. To be so proud of your loved one and so saddened at the same time is a mix of emotions very difficult to deal with as our hearts both burst with pride and pain together.
I am sorry that I never knew your soldier personally. While they can never be replaced, neither will they ever be forgotten. You must trust that sometime, someday the loving memories you have will help to sustain you and help you go on. This courageous soldier will forever be your Angel watching over you all for the rest of your lives. It's what brings me some measure of peace and comfort and I hope it will you as well.
To his family and friends in pain, I offer this comfort: When you find yourself in that dark sorrowful place, think not only of how you will miss him, but instead recall the years, days, hours and minutes gifted to you by his presence. The one thing that cannot be taken from you is your wonderful memories that now will mean more than ever.
If you ever want to talk, I'm only an e:mail away and would love for you to tell me more about your Hero.
God Bless this soldier and family who gave all and God Bless for setting up this site where families can so quickly share their condolences and prayers with others like themselves.
Proud Parents of SFC Brent A. Adams, KIA, 12/1/05, Ramadi, Iraq
Pam and Bill Adams, Lancaster, PA
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