Wounded South Mississippi Soldier Returns Home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/03/04

Wounded South Mississippi Soldier Returns Home

As 24-year-old Joseph Kennedy waits for his luggage, those around him can't help but to notice the bandage on the left side of his face.

Little do they know these are the wounds of a man of honor.

"We went into an Iraqi city for a four hour patrol that day, and we drove on this little side road, and there was a little land mine, an underground bomb there, and my vehicle went right by it. And it blew up and it killed my gunner," said Kennedy.

As a member of the United States marine corps serving in Iraq, Joseph was used to scenes of soldiers coming under attack.

But unlike many results of these type of scenes, Joseph survived, fulfilling a promise he had made to his mother before he left.

"Well, I just kept focused because I know he told me he was coming home and not in a body bag. And I had no bad feelings. So I just knew he was OK," said Joseph's mother Carlotta Kennedy.

And he is OK, but he must still deal with the wounds of war.

"I have a shrapnel wound that went in through my mandible and broke my jaw, and then it went through my cheek and it's still there, and then I got a big piece of shrapnel wound in my shoulder, and some shrapnel wounds in my left eye," said Kennedy.

But he says doesn't have anything to worry about, because as always, his family will be right there to walk with him every step of the way to a complete recovery.

"Thank goodness. I'm happy. He's on home ground now," said Carlotta Kennedy.

Joseph's mother said she missed feeding him while he was away, and fortunately, eating home cooked meals is among the top two things on his to-do list.

The other thing - to drink a cold can of beer.

By Karla Redditte

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