A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier trained to disable the enemy’s lethal, handmade bombs in Afghanistan was killed by an explosive on Saturday, the Defense Department announced tonight.
Kenneth Wade Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif. was killed in the Sperwan Gar area of Kandahar province. He was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company of Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion.
EOD companies belonging to the 3rd battalion are serving throughout southern Afghanistan in small teams this year, attaching themselves to infantry units patrolling through dangerous terrain in the Taliban’s birthplace.
Bennett was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He served there from August 2007 to November 2008 and from March 2010 to March 2011. He deployed for his last mission there in September.
Bennett joined the Army in 2004 and trained to become an explosive ordnance technician in 2006. He has been assigned to Lewis-McChord since 2009.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, an Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal with 3 bronze loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, as well as other awards and ribbons.
He is the 32nd Lewis-McChord soldier to die in Afghanistan this year, and the first from Lewis-McChord units in his EOD battalion since the spring of 2010.