KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - The latest confirmation of an East Texas Marine falling in the line of duty brings home the continued fight that servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan face.
Sergeant Kenneth May of Kilgore was killed this week while serving in Afghanistan. This is the second time Kilgore has lost one of their heroes in the war on terror. The loss of the Marine has hit the community of Kilgore hard.
"There's a lot of people here that he sure meant a lot to," said Gregg Brown, the Kilgore High School principal. "War can be a terrible thing. Lot's of times we're sort of de-sensitized to it...A tragedy like this happens and it sort of hits home.
May's death means that Kilgore now has two young men who have lost their lives in the modern era in the war against terrorism. In 2003 Marine Stephen Wyatt fell in Iraq. Both May and Wyatt were Kilgore High School graduates.
"These men and women in armed services put themselves in that position on a daily basis to give us the freedoms, luxuries to come to school and learn, all the things we take for granted," said Brown.
Over this decade we have honored servicemen from Tyler to Longview, from small communities like Hughes Springs and Terrell, adding to the list of casualties bringing war home to East Texans.
"Until it comes home to your community or your county or to a close friend somebody you know, you just don't pay it that much attention until it does," said William Perkins, the VFW 1183 post commander. "They are protecting their country serving their country...It's our duty to show his family that we care."
They join the list of our honored dead now. They have given all in hopes that we will remember.
"We will be there on that tarmac when Mister May comes in," said Perkins.
Veterans of the Patriot Guard plan to be at East Texas Regional Airport to honor Kenneth May when his body is returned to East Texas, tentatively schedule for this coming Tuesday.