WESTFIELD — Sergeant Kevin W. White was born in 1988 at Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield. He attended Westfield Academy and Central School from kindergarten through 12th grade.
White took swimming lessons at Welch Field, played youth recreational soccer, travel soccer, indoor soccer and jv and varsity soccer at school. Many of those games were played at NorthLake Family Recreation Center. He never missed a soccer season from the time he was 6 years old until graduating from high school. White also participated in ski club for six years and played tennis and volleyball on school teams. He was very physically active, playing air soft games with friends, hunting, fishing, lifting weights, running, hiking, skiing, snorkeling, kayaking and spear fishing.
White joined the Army infantry in July right after graduating from WACS in 2006. He completed Basic Training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was then stationed in Baumholder, Germany, Smith Barracks.
He was assigned to the 1st Armored Division in November of 2006 as a Bradley Fighting vehicle driver. While deployed to Iraq from April 2008 to June 2009, White drove the lead Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in over 200 patrols. He encountered an Explosively Formed Projectile while on patrol in January 2009, with no physical injuries to anyone in the vehicle. They were awarded the Combat Infantry Badge. In October 2009, he was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
In Hawaii, White was assigned the position of gunner. He volunteered for the training to earn his Air Assault Badge at the Sabalauski Air Assault School, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. He earned the expert marksmanship badge for rifle and also achieved a perfect physical training score. He made the commandants list when he took the Warrior Leadership Course just prior to being deployed to Pech River Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The day after Osama Bin Laden was killed, White volunteered to command the lead patrol vehicle.
Sgt. White knew exactly what being in the lead vehicle meant from his experiences in Iraq. On May 2, 2011, White was killed by an improvised explosive device less than a month into his yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
White loved physical fitness, was a team player, and encouraged his comrades to meet their physical potential, knowing that all would need to support one another in the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
White’s life was focused on family, friends, physical fitness, and supporting others. Since NorthLake Family Recreation Center also focuses on similar goals, it would like support in helping NorthLake to dedicate the boys’ varsity soccer field in memory of Sgt. White’s sacrifice and honor.
Join the recreation center on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 9:30 a.m. for a dedication ceremony followed by the Westfield varsity boys’ home game, free food and a raffle.
NorthLake Recreation center is located on Nichols Ave right off the Thruway.