VIDEO: Remembering An American Hero
AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – One of the country’s most decorated war veterans passed away over the weekend.
Command Sergeant Major Lawrence E. “Rabbit” Kennedy passed away on Sunday at Oak Tree Manor in Amory.
Kennedy died at 93-years old and served in in the military for over three decades.
He was a fixture in the community and his medals and honors are showcased in a room at the Amory Regional Museum.
“To do what he did and start where he started, to how he ended up, is just an American Hero story,” says Amory Regional Museum Director, Bo Miller.
Command Sergeant Major Lawrence “Rabbit” Kennedy is the most decorated non-commissioned officer in the history of the United States Military.
A career that might not have been Kennedy’s first choice.
“He was doing some things he probably shouldn’t have been doing when he was a child and they couldn’t catch him. That’s how he got his nickname ‘Rabbit’ and when they finally caught him, they said, ‘you can either go to the army or to go prison’,” says Miller.
The rest is military history.
Rabbit fought in War World II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
“The tougher the pressure is, the better the soldier he is. You know, discipline, you know, I mean, and I was a strong disciplinarian, you know, I believed in strong disciplinary, physical condition,” says Kennedy, back in May of 2007.
Miller says everybody in town knew a Rabbit story.
This was one of Miller’s favorites to hear.
“President Johnson said to a Rabbit, ‘I understand that you’re quite famous down in Mississippi,’ and Rabbit said, ‘yes, there’s only two people that are famous in Mississippi, moonshiners or Church of Christ Preachers and I haven’t ever preached a day in my life’,” says Miller.
The ‘old soldier’, as he sometimes called himself, was someone everyone knew and respected.
His larger than life personality, compassion, and familiar face will be missed the most in Amory.
“Mr. Rabbit was a real nice gentleman. He would come to Walmart all of the time, buying dog food for his dog and he would talk to the cashiers and other people and sit down and talk to other gentlemen. He was the type of person who always was trying to inspire young men to join the military and to make something good out their life,” says Amory resident, Cheryl Singleton.
Kennedy leaves behind a son and daughter.
Visitation will be this Thursday at the Cleveland-Moffett Funeral Home.
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