Profile of a Destiny Soldier, Pfc. Kawonna Kennedy
July 13, 2010
Profile of a Destiny Soldier, Pfc. Kawonna Kennedy Story by Spc. Nadia R. Young Task Force Saber, D Troop, 2-17th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Saber, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade An important factor in any aviation unit's ability to defeat the enemy is the ability to order and maintain aircraft parts and supplies for the maintenance crews and pilots. It is an accomplishment to meet aviation needs in a new country and takes great effort on all personnel involved. Pfc. Kawonna Kennedy, Automated Logistical Specialist with Delta Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, is one of the Soldiers in charge of making sure the Squadron's aircraft parts are properly ordered and accounted for at all times in order to support the maintenance crews, pilots and aircraft. "I joined the Army for a few reasons; the first being to defend my country, but I also knew that the Army would provide me with the means to continue my education," Kennedy said. "I had already established my family, and we always try to show them that the best way up in life is through hard work and dedication. I knew that the Army would provide the challenge that I was looking for and would give me the tools I needed to continue to do great things." Originally from Springhill, La., she says that her military occupational specialty, 92A, chose her. "It seemed like a challenge, and I was up for it. It was different than most things I was used to and unlike anything I'd ever done before." She says there is never a time when she is bored at work; she thoroughly enjoys her job, the new challenges and the people she works with. "They make the days pass by quickly, and we're very much like a family. We take care of each other, and it's something that most people don't have outside of the Army. This is your other home." Since being deployed, one of the personal challenges she faces every day is being away from her family. "My son, Lavert, is 15, and my daughter, Jada, is 9. It's so difficult not being able to go home at the end of the day to hear about how school was. They're at the age when there is literally a world of events taking place with them, and it's hard not being able to see it happen in person. We try to talk every day, or e-mail as often as possible and just try to stay positive." One of the challenges she faces at work is trying to coordinate parts processing and the management of literally thousands of lines of PLL and Bench stock containers, processing and storing incoming supplies and ordering repair parts for all direct support shops. "A lot of times, people want things to happen fast, but don't realize all that has take place in order for us to get repair parts processed; communication is vital." Kennedy makes a point of saying that in her spare time, "Prayer is always first." She enjoys talking to her husband, Sherwood, her two children, and extended members of her family. She also enjoys reading, singing and dancing. While she is home, she says you will never find her without her family, and that they spend as much time together as possible. "My family and I are all very close, and we try to do as much together as possible." Kennedy says her family has been very supportive of her choices when it comes to the Army despite the distance between them. "Whatever move I make, they make, too," she says. "When I decided this was what I wanted to do, they just asked what I needed from them. It's what family does, and I wouldn't be able to do this without them." Kennedy says that looking back, she did not want to deploy, but she realized that, "we live in the same world as everyone else." She went on to say that, "When I finally got to Afghanistan, I knew that my country depended on me to help make the mission successful. It is my honor, as well as my duty, to proudly fight for my country. If I had to do it again, I would." She says that while she intends to get promoted to Specialist out here, she is also aiming for the sergeant promotion board, and fully intends to be the best leader she can possibly be. "I have great leaders who will not let me fail, and I have every intention to do the same for my future Soldiers." She is also working on her Bachelor's Degree in Dental Hygiene. Asked about her future beyond Afghanistan, she responded, "I am looking forward to our redeployment back home to Fort Campbell, and while I love my extended family here, I am counting down the days until we can start shipping equipment home ... only ten months left!" Kennedy jokes. When asked whether or not she will make a career out of the Army, she doesn't hesitate when she says elatedly, "Yes!" "I have made some very good decisions in my lifetime, and while my family is at the very top of my list, the Army comes in a close second. I love my job, the people I work with and it has made my transition from civilian to Soldier the easiest ever. I have no regrets."