MCALLEN - The family of U.S. Army Specialist Kurt Kern spoke out for the first time. Specialist Kern was killed serving our country in Afghanistan last week.
"Many people have told me that his sacrifice in the line of duty makes him a hero to our nation, but I am here to tell you that Kurt was a hero way before that," said Keith Kern, Kurt's Brother.
Keith Kern speaks for the first time about his brother. "He was a hero every time he would share an encouraging word, every time he would go out of his way to help someone in need, and every time he would smile," said Keith Kern.
Stationed in Afghanistan for less than a month, Specialist Kurt Kern died in the line of duty from an improvised explosive device or IED. But Spc. Kern wasn't sent to Afghanistan, he volunteered to go. After his original unit got their deployment canceled, Spc. Kern put in his request to go anyway, wanting to serve his country. Since childhood Spc. Kern always wanted to be a soldier.
"Playing running around outside, playing when we were little kids, it was always soldiers and army, he just had it in him since he was born," said Keith Kern
And today, Governor Rick Perry recently agreed to order all flags at half staff until after the funeral.
Spc. Kern’s body will arrive at 11 am on Friday, January 6, to McCreery Aviation in McAllen, and will be taken to Rivera Funeral Home in McAllen for a private viewing. The family is requesting Friday be a private day for just family and close friends.
The public viewing will be from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, January 7, 2012 with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at Rivera Funeral Home, 1901 Pecan Blvd. , McAllen.
Family will receive family and friends at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, January 8, 2012 at the McAllen Convention Center at Ware Rd. & Exp 83 with funeral service being held at 11:00 a.m., in the main ballroom (on the west side of the building).
After the services, Spc. Kern will be taken to Rio Grande Valley State Veteran’s Cemetery, 2520 S. Inspiration Rd, Mission.
Friends of the family have set up a bank account at Lone Star National Bank to help the family with expenses.
Lone Star National Bank in c/o Martha Kern
Account #: 05505043171
Dove Branch in McAllen (956) 661-0899