KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - UPDATE 05/17/10: Funeral Services have been set for U.S. Marine Sgt. Kenneth May, Jr. for 2 p.m. this Friday at the First Baptist Church in Kilgore. His burial to follow at Danville Cemetery in Kilgore. Visitation has been set for Thursday at Radar Funeral home in Kilgore from 6-8pm.
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - It was a sobering day on an East Texas campus and for the city of Kilgore, as a hometown Marine falls in the line of duty in Afghanistan. The Marine was killed only a day after celebrating his second wedding anniversary.
According to his family, Sergeant Kenneth May Jr., 26, served two tours in Iraq, and was on a tour in Afghanistan when he was killed.
"[He was] very giving, very open, very friendly, willing to do anything to help for whatever needed to be done," said Wayne Smith, the Kilgore College band director. "Somebody needs something and he'd help them just a great young man.
May was a Kilgore High School graduate, and was in the choir and played tuba in the band at Kilgore College in 2002-2003. The news of his death is shattering.
"We work so hard to teach service learning and try to get students to learn what a life of service is but here's someone who models that in their own behavior and sets an example for all of us what it means to give an ultimate sacrifice," said Dr. Bill Holda, president of Kilgore College.
Those who knew May at school say they will remember a young man with high character who did not have to join the fight, but made the decision to defend freedom.
"He made the most unselfish of all sacrifices and that is to give up his life for the love and the freedom of others, and that was the person that I think he was," said Smith.
"He had a big heart and lots of friends around him, and my heart weeps as I say this because its just heartbreaking," said Holda.
He is remembered as being tough as boot leather and the best of what this country had to give.
"We probably will never know the full impact of his choice and the difference that it made," said Holda.
May leaves behind his wife, Krystal, his parents, Kenneth and Karen, and his sister Kalynne, all of Kilgore.