ssg. kenneth "wade" bennett
To everyone that knew and met him he was known as Wade. Wade loved fishing with his family, 4-wheeling, and going out on the sand rail. As a teen, and adult to be honest he played War Hammer 40k! Wade trained to become an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialist and was a natural for the elite field. He was only 21 years old when he first deployed as an EOD expert. Wade was a team leader who pushed his guys to be the best, but was also was the first one with a joke. He was the person that people gravitated towards because he could make everyone laugh. As Wade would say, he always found “epic adventures.”
The way Wade proposed to me was so him. We were crabbing with my family and while we were out on a boat, pulling up crab pots, he zip-tied the ring around a LIVE crab! I was so shocked and I just had to laugh at his presentation. It held so much symbolism; my whole family was there because he knew how important they are to me, and the crab because the symbol of EOD is a crab emblem. He was an amazing father who was all “googly” over our daughter. He loved showing her off to everyone at his work and to his family. He was the best husband who wanted to make sure his family was always cared for. Before he deployed for the 3rd time to Afghanistan we became pregnant with our second child. When Wade found out about the pregnancy, he was so excited that he stood up on the table and shouted in the restaurant. Wade died before he even knew we were having a boy and the birth of his namesake. Our son is named Wade Zeus Bennett because before we even knew the baby’s sex, Wade said he wanted a name from Greek mythology or from BC times! I knew after we lost Wade that Zeus had to be his name since Wade would always say he was ruler of his world AND everyone’s around him!
Wade is buried at Arlington National Cemetery; the reason why is most important. We talked about the “what if’s” and worst case scenarios and I asked him where he wanted to buried. He said Arlington and I asked him why. He said, “Because I want to be buried with my brothers.” That’s the man my husband was and still is to me. After visiting wade on the 1 year angelversay of his death I felt I was abandoning my husband when I left. I made the decision that the best thing for our kids and I was to be closer to him. With a 1 year old and a 3 year old I moved across the country from Washington State to Winchester Va. Whenever my daughter wants her dad or is having a rough time we drive the 2 hours to go sit and be with him. Many people may say it is only a stone, but it is so much more. That is the closest we can get to touching him and being with him. It is something at least we can hold onto and can hug. Although it hurts physically every time I see our son and daughter run to that grave and kiss it and say “goodbye daddy” I know this is where we need to be.