Westfield native killed in action to be honored by NYS for sacrifice

An Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Army Cpl. Kevin W. White of Westfield, N.Y. upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Wednesday May 4, 2011. The Department of Defense announced the death of White who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WESTFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) — A native of Chautauqua County’s quiet Village of Westfield will be honored by New York State five years after he died to an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Kevin White served in the U.S. Army after graduating from Westfield Academy Central School. He served in the First Armored Division as a Bradley Armored Personnel Carrier driver. In 2008, his lead vehicle exploded an IED. The explosion didn’t harm him, as the armored vehicle stopped the explosion.

In 2009, just under a year later, White’s vehicle detonated another IED. The explosion ended White’s life.

His family, friends and representatives in Albany are calling him a hero.

“Like so many brave armed forces members before him, he was willing to fight and die to protect the freedoms we hold so dear,” Senator Catharine Young said. “His bravery and valor are commendable and stands as examples for all of us to live by.”

Although White has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, two Army Commendation Medals and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross and the Hawaii Medal Of Honor, he now receives a new honor that will serve as a memory to all who knew the young man.

New York State Senate members passed a measure to name a bridge on Route 20 in his honor. The stretch soon to be known as Sergeant Kevin W. White Memorial Bridge will stand between Oak Street and South Portage Street in the Town of Westfield.

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