Cavalry Soldiers remember former 'Warhorse' Trooper
February 27, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas --Current Troopers assigned to 'Warhorse' 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division attended the funeral of Kevin M. Hardin, 25, of Copperas Cove, Jan. 27, 2012 at the Heritage Funeral Home in Harker Heights, Texas. Hardin, a former medic assigned to 2nd Platoon, Dragoon Company, 3rd Bn, 8th Cav. Regt., deployed with the battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.
Hardin who served in the Army from June 2004 through Dec. 2010 was buried with full military honors at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, Killeen, Texas.
Born and raised in south Florida, he was medically retired from the Army due to combat injuries sustained during a patrol in Samarra, Iraq, Sept. 30, 2007. His military awards include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Combat Medic Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal with Campaign Star, and the Army Achievement Medal.
He is survived by his wife Lillian; his parents, Charles and Terry; his brothers, Kenneth, Kyle, and Keith; his maternal grandmother, Cindy Stewart; and his mother-in-law, Peggy May.
"He'd open his door to anyone," said Sgt. John Preece, gunner with 2nd Platoon, D Co., 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., 3rd Bde., 1st Cav. Div. "I didn't know him that long before he let me stay at his house while I looked for an apartment. He also greeted us on the parade field when we returned from the last deployment."
Hardin's friends remember him as a man with an exceptional work ethic who also showed genuine concern for others. As the platoon medic, he treated Soldiers for everything ranging from sniffles and sprained ankles to shrapnel and gunshot wounds. He consistently asked to accompany the Soldiers on additional patrols always being exposed to danger.
"Specialist Hardin answered his call of duty and performed that duty flawlessly and without faltering," said Staff Sgt. John Vandewater, master gunner with 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., 3rd Bde., 1st Cav. Div. "He performed brilliantly on missions and valiantly under fire."
Although Hardin was not on active duty at the time of his death, his former noncommissioned officers still considered him a member of the team and felt honored to have served in the same unit.
"He was family," said Sgt. Michael Henderson, tank commander with 2nd Platoon, D Co., 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., 3rd Bde., 1st Cav. Div. "He was a good guy who would go out of his way to help anyone."
"He was dedicated to his battle buddies," said Sgt. Jonathan Biden, tank commander with 2nd Platoon, D Co., 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., 3rd Bde., 1st Cav. Div. "He would go out of his way to help others, and he was lighthearted - a big family guy. And he loved his cars."