Sunday, December 12, 2010

Army Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr., 21, of San Diego

Spc. Necochea was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Dec. 12, 2010 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Cpl. Sean M. Collins, Cpl. Willie A. McLawhorn Jr., Spc. Patrick D. Deans, Spc. Derek T. Simonetta and Spc. Jorge E. Villacis.

Family and friends of a fallen soldier, a 2007 Poway High School graduate, are mourning his loss this week.

Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr., 21, was among six Army soldiers killed Sunday in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.

The soldiers died when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.

Cara Brown, who loved being called “auntie” by her nephew, known to most as “Kenny,” said he was “a good Christian boy.

“He was always smiling and a joy to be with,” she said. “He was kind, and had character.”

Necochea attended junior college for a while, before deciding to enlist in the Army, she said. “It wasn’t just a whim with him,” Brown said. “In our eyes, he’s a hero.”

Remembering that smile of his and the many family stories they have to share about him will help to keep them going while everyone grieves, Brown said.

Meanwhile, Dave LeMaster, a Poway High School history teacher said Necochea liked that subject a lot. “He was genuine, never mean, kind and soft spoken,” LeMaster said. “I never knew he was going off to serve his country, but in class we discuss military service,” he added. “It’s sad that he died, but we’re really proud of him (for serving).”

Laura Dossett of Tennessee, met him when he was stationed at Fort Campbell and they quickly became close. “He was so shy (when they first met) but once we got to know each other, he opened up,” Dossett said. “He was such a gentle, sweet soul. He was a strong Christian. He was one of the only boys who ever willingly went to church with me.

Necochea’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Medal.

He is survived by his mother, Donna L. Wright of San Diego; and father, Kenneth E. Necochea of Poway; and several brothers and sisters, Amishka Necochea, Kyrnan Necochea, Natalie Nechochea, Evan Nechochea and Dylan Wright.

Army Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr. was killed in action on 12/12/10.

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