A Soldier’s Final Journey Home

“This is what they sent us,” Oneida Sanders said, kneeling beside a heavy wooden chest in her living room. “These are Kennedy’s things.”

Sgt. Kennedy Sanders’s belongings were shipped home to her parents after she was killed: Dog tags, identification cards, Polaroids of her family. Gold jewelry and a quarter that appeared to be stained with blood.

The items offered a glimpse into the person, soldier and daughter that Kennedy was and who she had hoped to become.

Family photos, a handmade telephone system, Sgt. Kennedy Sanders’s name tape, and several small pieces of jewelry were among her possessions when she was killed.

Kennedy was serving on a U.S. military outpost in Jordan in January when an Iran-backed militia launched a drone attack on the base. Less than 24 hours later, two uniformed service members showed up on the doorstep of Oneida and Shawn Sanders in the small town of Waycross, Ga.

Ms. Sanders wasn’t home that morning, but her husband, Shawn, was. He told her to return home right away and then began calling family members and friends, asking them to come to the house.

Back to top button