USA Patriotism! ... "Showcasing Pride of America"USA Store! ... American / Patriotic themed gift products at USA Patriotism!"Mere Chance ... A Greatest Generation Story" by David G. BancroftAmerican Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. BancroftUSA theme polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, hats, caps, swimwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, under garments, and other apparel itemsHardside Spinner Luggage with American Flag DesignTough Tex American Flags
Home | Articles | Charities | Great Americans | Heroes | Honor Halls | Music | Photos | Poems | Quotes | Reference | Speeches | Stars for Troops | Stories | Student Patriots | Videos
New Content | America's Birth | About | Contact | Submit | Partners | Press | CureNow | DonateJoin / Like the USA Patriotism! Facebook pageUSA Patriotism! YouTube ChannelUSA Patriotism! On TwitterAdd This ... Bookmark and Share

Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots

Collectibles, apparel, and other gifts ... for Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and veterans!Checks with USA, military, and other patriotic designsFree Gifts from The Bradford Exchange Online

SFC Kenneth Westbrook Receives Silver Star Posthumously
by Nick Duke, Fort Benning Bayonet and Saber - May 10, 2013

American Flag Western Boots

Tough Tex American Flags

Checks with USA, military, and other patriotic designs

USA, military, and other patriotic themed pullover and button down Polo shirts

U.S. Military Collectibles

Telescoping flagpole with free American Flag

U.S. Army SFC Kenneth Westbrook, Silver Star Recipient (Posthumous)FORT BENNING, Ga. (APRIL 24, 2013) -- The family of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook was presented with his Silver Star for gallantry, and his second Combat Infantryman Badge, April 19, during an emotional ceremony at Derby Auditorium here.

Westbrook died Oct. 7, 2009, as a result of wounds suffered Sept. 8, 2009, when insurgents attacked his unit in the Ganjgal Valley, Afghanistan.

With the award coming nearly three and a half years after his death, Westbrook's wife, Charlene, said she felt an immense sense of pride in her husband.

"I would say that I'm so very proud of him, and that he's my hero," she said. "Actually, he'd probably grimace and say, 'No, I'm not a hero. I'm just doing my job.'"

The Silver Star is the Army's third highest award for gallantry, behind only the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor.

When the family received word that the Silver Star would be posthumously awarded, it selected Fort Benning as the site of the ceremony, a selection that was intended to reflect Westbrook's love of and dedication to not just the Army as a whole, but also the Infantry.

"I met my husband when I was 13, and he asked me what I wanted to do for a career after we graduated high school, and I said, 'I don't know. I'm 13 years old. I'm not thinking about my future,"' Charlene Westbrook recalled. "But he, from the very beginning, said, 'I'm going to be an Infantryman.' He came to basic training here, and this place meant so much to him. He was so proud to have been an Infantryman for 22 years."

Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, presents Charlene Westbrook, the wife of Sgt. 1st. Class Kenneth Westbrook, and her three sons -- Zachary, Joshua and Joseph -- with her husband's Silver Star during a ceremony at Derby Auditorium at Fort Benning, Ga., April 19, 2013. (Photo by Ashley Cross)
Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, presents Charlene Westbrook, the wife of Sgt. 1st. Class Kenneth Westbrook, and her three sons -- Zachary, Joshua and Joseph -- with her husband's Silver Star during a ceremony at Derby Auditorium at Fort Benning, Ga., April 19, 2013. Photo by Ashley Cross

The family also took the opportunity to attend a basic training graduation before holding the Silver Star ceremony.

"It is fitting that we honor the courage and sacrifice of one of our fallen warriors shortly after we gathered to celebrate the entry of new Soldiers into our Army -- fitting because what those young men and Sergeant First Class Westbrook have in common is that they volunteered to answer our nation's call to duty in a time of war," said Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, during his remarks at the Silver Star ceremony.

"It is fitting that we are part of a living, historical community in which we do our best to preserve the legacy of courage and selfless service of those, like Kenneth Westbrook who have gone before us," McMaster said. "Fitting because we want those who knew and loved Sergeant First Class Westbrook to know that he will not be forgotten -- that we will continue to honor his sacrifice and remember the example that he set for all of us."

The battle that led to Westbrook's death occurred Sept. 8, 2009, when a joint force of American and Afghan personnel that Westbrook was working with were caught in an ambush.

According to the Silver Star award citation, while taking fire from rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine gun fire, Westbrook intentionally placed himself in the line of direct enemy fire without cover and concealment in an effort to engage targets and direct his Afghan peers.

He was wounded during the battle, but did not succumb to his injuries for 30 days.

Jonathan Landay, a McClatchy Company reporter who was embedded with the joint force, said the scene was one of the worst he had ever seen.

"Within a few minutes, it was just an unbelievable kill zone," Landay said. "All the guys who were in there had been veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and they had never been caught in such hellacious fire. It was coming from three sides."

Westbrook was preceded in death by his brother, Sgt. Marshall Westbrook of the 126th Military Police Company of the New Mexico Army National Guard, who died Oct. 1, 2005, while serving near Baghdad, Iraq.

While the Westbrooks are no longer actively involved in the Army, Charlene Westbrook said the award helped them to feel like they were still a part of the Army family.

"I just want the Army to know that we've been an Army family for 22 years, and when the Army finally gave us this award and it came to light, it almost feels like the biggest family hug we could ever feel," she said. "It makes me feel proud to be part of the Army family."

McMaster echoed those sentiments during his remarks.

"To Sergeant First Class Westbrook's family, we will never forget your sacrifice," he said. "You are forever members of our Army family. We are grateful for the opportunity to be with you and to honor our brother-in-arms. For those of us who have not experienced such a profound loss, it is difficult to imagine what you have endured -- the loss of not one, but two Westbrook sons who volunteered to serve their nation and made the ultimate sacrifice."

By Nick Duke, Fort Benning Bayonet and Saber
Army News Service
Copyright 2013

Comment on this article

USA Store! ... over 1,000 American / Patriotic themed gift products at USA Patriotism!USA / Americana theme ... polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, hats, caps, swimwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, under garments, and other apparel itemsAmerican Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. Bancroft
Special Offers - FREE Gifts with Purchase

Charities supported by USA Patriotism! with links to them on all its pages.
USO | American Legion | Operation HomefrontFallen Heroes Fund | Military Order of the Purple Heart | NMFA
Silver Star Families | Gary Sinise Foundation | Journey Home Project | Honor and Remember | Independence Fund

Collectibles, apparel, and other gifts ... for Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and veterans!
Home | Patriots | America's Birth | ArticlesCharities | Graphics | Great Americans | Heroes | Honor Halls | Music
Photos | Poems | Quotes | Reference | Speeches | Stars For Troops | Stories | Student Patriots | Videos
New Content | About |
Contact | Banners | CureNow | Partners | Press | Privacy


Search USA Patriotism!

 Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Copyright © 2002-2019 ~ USA Patriotism! ~ All Rights Reserved