President Bush commended Spc. Hardin for his brave service. Left is Kevin's father, Charles.
The war came close last week. We learned Kevin Hardin had died. It was a sorrowful day at Air Compassion for Veterans, for the former Army medic and our friend had fought hard to recover from combat wounds following two years of hospitalization at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We provided many flights for his family so they could leave their home in Florida to be at Kevin’s bedside. He went through 32 surgeries and painful rehabilitation, then married the woman who’d cared for him during his recovery. He died on January 22 of war-related injuries. He was 25. He leaves behind his bride, Lillian; his parents, Charles and Terry, and three brothers, Kyle, Keith and Kenny.
In 2007 Spc. Hardin was on patrol in Samarra, Iraq, when his Humvee was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. The blast sent 12 pieces of shrapnel into his skull and took fingers from both hands and flesh from his arms. His many bone and skin grafts earned him the nickname “Patches.” He received a Purple Heart. When people would ask him if he had any regrets, he would say, “What is there to regret, if you’re doing it for your country? I would do it ten times over.”