Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for January 5, 2009 - Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Nixon, Sr.

Command Sergeant Major Kenneth Nixon, Sr.

Current Unit: 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (Airborne)
Current Position: Battalion Command Sergeant Major
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Afghanistan
Hometown: Fayetteville, N.C. and Philadelphia, Pa.
Years of Service: 27

When Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Nixon, Sr. returns from Afghanistan for a brief leave period this week, he will receive a proper hero’s welcome at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl where he will be honored for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when he takes the field this Saturday, January 3rd, he won’t be alone. His son, Xavier, one of the top-ranked offensive tackles in high school football will be at his side.

Both will be honored for their leadership, courage and strength on the playing field and battlefield at an exhibition game showcasing the best in the nation. For a Soldier who came from meager beginnings in South Philadelphia, having his son achieve such an honor is the realization of a dream that began 27 years ago when he joined the Army.

As the oldest of five children, Nixon knew he had to create his own opportunities and joined the Army to ensure his children would have a better life. His military career has been forged with hard work and selflessness, both characteristics that Nixon and his wife, Master Sgt. Fotini Nixon, have passed on to Xavier and Nixon’s children from a previous marriage: Justin, Kennetha and Kenneth, Jr. He has been honored three times with the prestigious Bronze Star Medal, in addition to many other accolades. But rather than accept any personal glory, Nixon always focuses on what he has accomplished with his fellow Soldiers.

"Whether I am talking to my children or my Soldiers, I always bring up the concept of TEAM which means ‘Together Everyone Achieves More,'" said Nixon. "Building a strong team and seeing how they can accomplish things larger than themselves is an awesome experience."

It is no surprise then that his son, Xavier, excels at offensive tackle, a position that requires hard work, strategy and strength, but rarely gets the spotlight. So it is with great pride that Command Sgt. Maj. Nixon will take the field with his son on Saturday. Not a personal pride in their own accomplishments, but in what the future holds.

Command Sgt. Maj. Nixon and Master Sgt. Nixon live in Fayetteville, N.C. and have a combined 50 years of service in the Army. Xavier Nixon attends Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville and will graduate in June 2009. He will declare which college he will attend at this Saturday’s All-American Bowl game.

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