Family and friends of Staff Sgt. Kenneth Wade Bennett and the Glendora community bid farewell to the 26-year-old Glendora native who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Community members lined Route 66 Saturday morning, waving American flags as a motorcade of Bennett’s family, Glendora Police and Patriot Guard Riders made its way to the memorial at Glenkirk Church.
Bennett was killed Nov. 10 during his deployment in Sperwan Gar by a buried enemy bomb. He was formally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Dec. 4, but a local memorial was held in Glendora where Bennett was born and raised.
Family and friends remembered Bennett, known by his middle name, Wade, as fun-loving, charismatic and life of the party, but also as a professional and model soldier in his work with the 53rd Ordnance Company. But most of all, they remembered the dedicated husband and father of a 2-year-old girl, Lila, and a son to be born in May.
Bennett's wife, Mandi, tearfully remembered her husband not as a hero, but as a protector of his family.
A friend who served with Bennett recalled how Bennett selflessly sacrificed his own safety for his fellow soldiers while on duty. Friends said Bennett's passing left an "unfulfillable void" in the lives of people who knew him.
Bennett’s family received the Gold Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart on Bennett’s behalf.
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