Army SGT Kenneth W. Harris Jr — August 2013 Shipment Honoree
Died August 20 2003 while serving in Iraq
SGT Kenneth W Harris Jr has a twin brother, Nathan Harris, who spoke with him a week prior to his passing. His brother reported that the last time they spoke he seemed to be more concerned with family back home than about himself. Nathan said “I can’t even explain it. I just talked to him last weekend. He didn’t even think about himself. He just wanted to know that everyone (at home) is OK.”
SGT Harris was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Medal. He was born June 5, 1980 and raised in the Charlotte, Tennessee community in Dickson County. Ken Harris enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves during his junior year at Dickson County High School. Upon his graduation from DCHS, SGT Harris completed his Basic Training and A.I.T with the reserves. Ken continued his education attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Ken was called to active duty February 2003 and deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this deployment SGT Harris was fatally injured on 20 AUG 2003 in Scania, Iraq.
SGT Harris was the son of Kenneth W. Harris and Marie A. Harris-Steinmetz. He was the stepson of Walter M. Steinmetz and the brother of Nathan Daniel Harris (his twin brother) and Jennifer L. Harris. SGT Harris left behind a family of aunts, uncles, and grandparents, as well as, a host of friends and co-workers who all miss him solely.
SGT Harris’s mother, Marie (a.k.a Toni), tore at this writer’s heart when she provided some words regarding her son’s passing. As the mother of this Fallen Hero, Toni wrote regarding SGT Harris biography “It (the biography) does not tell a lot about Ken’s personality, or that he gave the best hugs in the world. It does not tell how losing him has forever damaged the lives of our family. I have written testimonials from his fellow Soldiers that reflect his charismatic personality and that he was a good listener, and gave good advice. He was a Christian. He was never married and had no children. He was very handsome and the ladies loved him.”
Toni continues to honor her son’s memory and all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us to have all the freedoms we have today. For the last ten years, Toni and her children host the SGT Kenneth W. Harris, Jr. “Ride for the Fallen” on the Saturday in August that is closest to the date of her son’s passing. Each year the Poker Run ride gets bigger and bigger with more riders and participants with proceeds going to charities. Toni’s tireless efforts preserving her son’s memory only proves the saying “once a mom, always a mom.” LHCP is honored to have SGT Kenneth W. Harris, Jr. as the August 2013 LHCP Honoree.