A U.S. Army Soldier from Bourbon County, Kentucky was killed in a car crash while stationed in Alabama.
CW2 Kenneth Lee Barker served in the Army for 12.5 years. He enlisted just two weeks after graduating in 2000 from Bourbon County High School.
"I guess where it all started was with his father, my brother, Dana. He was a crew chief on a Huey with the Army. I think Kenneth sort of maybe wanted to follow in his father's foot steps," says Don Barker, Kenneth's uncle.
His family tells WKYT that Barker was passionate, proud, and honored to serve his country. Kenneth Barker would go on to become a Chief Warrant Officer Second.
"He did two tours in Iraq as a crew chief on the Black Hawk and then he came back and went to Warrant Officer school and went to pilot school and did one combat tour in Afghanistan as a pilot," adds Barker.
Barker was just about to finish instructor school while stationed at Fort Rucker in Alabama. Just five days ago, Barker was killed in a single vehicle accident in Alabama. Barker leaves behind his wife, Krystal Barker and their two sons, Branson And Kohen.
"It is a complete shock. I guess I don't know if it would have made it any easier. But we may have been able to accept it more had he been killed in combat. But, to be killed in an automobile accident...you just can't understand that," says Barker.
His family describes Barker as an exemplary soldier, a great husband, a loving father, and role model to many.
It's now his family's mission to make sure Barker gets the respect that he deserves. "A fly over, bag pipes, you know a display of Kenneth's accomplishments and we're just you know, trying to honor him as much as we can. We want to make his home here in Kentucky realize that they've lost a true hero. One of their own sons here in Kentucky," says Barker.
Barker earned twenty-eight different medals while in service.
Visitation for Kenneth Barker will be on Thursday, January 31st from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville.
The funeral will be on Friday, February 1st at 11:30 also at Southland Christian Church.
The burial for Barker will have Full Military Honors at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville.
If interested in making a memorial contribution, visit www.giveforward.com/kennethbarker.