KIA January 6, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to Army National Guard Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division, New York, New York
PFC Kenneth von Ronn died January 6, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck the Bradley fighting vehicle that he was riding in. Also killed were SFC Kurt J. Comeaux, SGT Christopher J. Babin, SPC Bradley J. Bergeron, SPC Huey P.L. Fassbender, SPC Armand L. Frickey, and SPC Warren A. Murphy.
Kenneth graduated from Pine Bush Central High School in 2003 and set out for boot camp later that year. He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Walden, New York.
On an online memorial page dedicated to Kenneth, friends, family, and comrades shared their memories of him: Bret Kitchin wrote, “I was in basic with VonRonn… he was always one to help another Soldier out, emotionally or physically. He wasn’t very big, but he’d stand up to the biggest if he thought someone was being treated poorly… Some men, you will never forget, VonRonn was one.” Victoria Johnson wrote, “Kenny, I can still remember the time you came home and I ran right into your arms. You were my best friend, my big brother almost. You taught me how to play drums and so much more… I miss you so much, and because of you I have become the person I am.” In reference to the aftermath of Kenneth’s passing, Doug wrote, “We old Soldiers, the current generation of Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Navy were all there to honor your courage, duty, and honor. I stood as one Soldier could. At attention and saluting you. An ordinary American called to defend his nation and its people.” Kenneth’s third grade teacher, Amy Green, wrote, “How heartbreaking it is to lose such a good person… and that’s who Kenny was. I will never forget his smile and the twinkle in his eye that surfaced whenever he made someone laugh. That’s what he wanted to do… to make people happy and to make those he loved proud of him. My pride for Kenny and for who he grew up to be, my sorrow at his sacrifice, and the honor I feel for having had him in my life go beyond measure.”
PFC Kenneth von Ronn was 20 years old from Bloomingburg, New York.
Original portrait was presented March 17, 2012 to his family during the St. Patrick’s Day ceremonies hosted by the 69th Infantry Regiment at their historic 69th Regiment Armory in New York, New York.