United States Army Major Tom Kennedy was larger than life. His smile would light up a room and that is what he is often remembered for. “TK”, what he was called by his friends, never met a stranger. He had the unique ability to make one feel like they were life-long friends. Tom was born on April 10, 1977, and grew up in New City, New York. He was the youngest of 3 boys. Sports played a big part in his life. Following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Tommy entered Don Bosco as a Freshman in September of 1991 and immediately made an impact on the Varsity Hockey Team. Don Bosco quickly moved up the rankings each year and by Tom’s junior season, were elevated to the #1 team in the state. The ultimate team player, Suring that magical season, Tom was
asked to move from Defense to Forward and play alongside Seniors Greg Toskos and Sean Foye. Tom finished that season with 4 goals and 22 assists helping lead the Ironmen to their first ever State Final Appearance.

Whether it was playing hockey for Don Bosco or for the Black Knights on the ice rink at West Point, Tom was a natural born leader always putting the needs of others in front of his own. Major Kennedy graduated from the United States Military Academy in June 2000 and earned a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University TC shortly thereafter.

Upon graduation from the USMA, Tom branched Field Artillery and successfully completed Ranger school at Ft. Benning, Georgia. After a tour in South Korea and 1 tour in Iraq, Tom met his wife, Kami, at his brother’s wedding in Atlanta. After a 2nd deployment to Iraq, Tom and Kami were married in May 2008. They welcomed their twins, Maggie and Brody, in 2010, while stationed in West Point, NY, at the United States Military Academy. Tom was such a great dad to Maggie and Brody. He would often take them into the barracks at night when checking on cadets or to the mess hall for lunch. He was so very proud of them.

In June 2012, Tom and his family were stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado. Shortly after their move, Tom deployed to Afghanistan with the 4th ID, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Headquarters, Headquarters Company. On August 8, 2012, while in route to a Provincial Governor’s meeting in Eastern Afghanistan, MAJ Thomas Kennedy was killed by a Taliban suicide bomber.

As a decorated officer, Tom earned dozens of awards and service medals, including Bronze Star Medal (2), Purple Heart and Bronze Star Posthumous, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal (3), Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star, Iraq Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star (4), Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. In addition, the West Point Men’s Hockey Locker Room was dedicated and renamed the Major Thomas “TK” Kennedy Locker Room in his honor as was a Memorial Park at Don Bosco and the Sport-O-Rama ice rink.

We will leave you with this, he loved ice hockey, he loved playing for Don Bosco, he loved his soldiers and most importantly Tommy personified what it meant to be a great player and teammate. Like Army hockey coach Brian Riley says, “when you realize you play for the guy next to you and not your- self, then you are a team”. And that is what Tommy did, take care of his teammates even if it results in the ultimate sacrifice.

A special thanks to Don Bosco’s Greg Toskos, Sean Foye, the New Jersey High School Hockey Hall of Fame, and countless others for helping keep TK’s legacy alive and strong. May he rest in peace.

Tom Kennedy