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1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson commander, and Post Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier pay their final respects to Staff Sgt. Anthony Kay during a memorial service Oct. 14 in the Main Post Chapel. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
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2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 'Soldier's Cross' for Staff Sgt. Timothy Kay. The 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment held a memorial service Oct. 14 to honor Kay's service. Kay passed on Sept. 2, 2022 (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
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3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – First Sgt. Matthew Sanders looks at the Family of Staff Sgt. Timothy Kay as paid tribute to the Soldier characterized as one who tried to make others better. The 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment held a memorial service for Kay Oct. 14 in the Main Post Chapel. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
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4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chaplain (Capt.) Paul Menne, the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment chaplain, gives the benediction at the memorial service for Staff Sgt. Timothy Kay. Kay lost a battle with cancer Sept. 2, 2022. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
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5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A bagpiper plays a dirge during a memorial service for the late Staff Sgt. Timothy A. Key. The former 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment drill sergeant was remembered at the service. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
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6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Ransom Smith a member of the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment's rifle salute team, salutes the late Staff Sgt. Timothy A. Kay as 'Taps.' The battalion and Fort Jackson remembered Kay as one who 'loves to give himself to make others better.' (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL

Soldiers, friends and Family of 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment honored the life and service of Staff Sgt. Timothy A. Kay at a memorial service held Oct. 14 at the Main Post Chapel. Kay lost a battle with cancer Sept. 2, 2022.

“The best way to honor Staff Sgt. Timothy Kay is to tell his story and keep telling his story,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Burns, 4-39 commander.

Kay was well-loved by those who knew him and served with him.

Love shined the brightest with Kay, Burns said. “There was deep and unconditional love, the love of a husband, a son, a brother and a Soldier. It was there in so many different forms.”

Kay was born Nov. 12, 1994 in Paterson, New Jersey and joined the Army in June 2014 as an infantryman. He served in the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, and in the 4-39 as a drill sergeant where he loved to train.

“He wasn’t the loudest or the quietest (noncommissioned officer) … he didn’t showcase himself,” Burns said. “He didn’t try to hide, but by God he loves to train. He loves to give himself to make others better.”

“Love,” said Sgt. Mario Morales who served with Kay in the Old Guard. “That is how I would describe our friendship.”

Morales added Kay was a light and can’t thank him “enough for the example you left behind. You will forever be loved Kay.”

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Swank, who also served with Kay in the Old Guard, said, “Tim was the most disciplined and mission-focused soldier I have ever had the pleasure of serving with.”

“We were a part of 3rd Platoon firing party and rendered the final honors for over 600 Army veterans serving in wars ranging from World War II to the Global War on Terrorism,” Swank said. “In Garrison, he constantly pushed the entire squad to be their absolute best and set the example of what an infantryman should be.”

He added Kay always pushed himself and his peers, whether at morning PT, ceremonial uniform prep, or, as he would say, "getting gains" at the gym.

“During the unforgiving Virginia summer's heat, Kay's determination to be the best firing party in the regiment motivated us and, in the end, earned us the honor of being named the best firing party in the regiment, Swank said.

Those who knew him as a drill sergeant also remember him fondly.

Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Duquette called Kay one of life’s “true rarities” who you work with so much but never grow tired of being around them.

“For those of you not knowing him that well,” Duquette said during the service. People would describe Kay as “dedicate, disciplined and altruistic.” No matter how bad things seemed, he continued to focus on his goals.

Tim tried to be a support to every friend he had, he added.

After his friends and colleagues spoke about him and a final roll call was called, Kay was given a ceremonial volley from a rifle squad, a trumpeter sounded Taps and a lone bagpipe called out a final dirge. Soldiers and Family members would pay their final respects at the Soldier’s Cross.

Duquette said, “It would be so infectious with his own motivation that being around him made people want to be better versions of themselves.”

Kay is survived by his wife Breanna, his mother Nancy, his father Harry and his sisters Melissa, Rebecca, Christina and Elizabeth.