Kevin John Dempsey – Corporal, United States Marine Corps

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1159-04
November14, 2004

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Corporal Kevin J. Dempsey, 23, of Monroe, Connecticut, died November 13, 2004, due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.  Dempsey was assigned to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

M. Jodi Rell

November 15, 2004

Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Statement
On Death of Cpl. Kevin J. Dempsey
Requests State Flags Lowered to Half Staff in Honor of Fallen Marine

Governor M. Jodi Rell issued the following statement Monday after learning of the death on Saturday of Cpl. Kevin J. Dempsey, 23, of Monroe, Connecticut. Dempsey was killed in combat in Al Anbar Province while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Corporal Dempsey,” Governor Rell said. “All of Connecticut joins me in honoring his service to our nation. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the state go out to his family at this emotional time.”

Governor Rell requested that all state flags be lowered to half staff in remembrance of Corporal Dempsey until sundown on the day of his interment, which is yet to be determined.

Dempsey was assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

DEMPSEY, Corporal Kevin John “Jack”, 23,  passed away Saturday, November 13, 2004 in Iraq. He was born December 9, 980, in Sharon, Connecticut, the son of Barbara Lane Dempsey of Monroe; and the late D. Kevin Dempsey.

Corporal. Dempsey was a U.S. Marine, serving in Iraq.


Besides his mother, he is survived by his sister, Jennifer Dempsey of Stamford. His funeral service will be held Wednesday, November 24, 9 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena. Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Greenwich.

Memorial contributions may be made to USMC Toys For Tots, Navy Marine Corps  Reserve Center, 30 Woodward Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06512.

Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, has care of arrangements.

Greenwich, Connecticut, November 24, 2004

An emotional day for family and friends of a Connecticut Marine killed in Iraq. Corporal Kevin “Jack” Dempsey is being laid to rest today.

It has been quite an emotional week for the Dempsey family. Corporal Kevin “Jack” Dempsey’s body was brought back to Connecticut on Monday and that’s when his mother was awarded the Purple Heart on his behalf. This morning she and others watched as he was laid to rest.

Bells toll as the draped coffin of slain Marine Corporal Kevin ohn Dempsey is carried into St. Catherine of Siena Church in Greenwich.

It is a time of thanks for many, but it is a time of sorrow for the Dempsey family.

“I feel that we should be there to support them, to tell them how much we appreciated what he did for the country, for all of us,” says Betty Lundgren.

As Connecticut said goodbye to one of its Marines killed in action in Iraq, those close to this 23-year-old bid farewell to the young man they knew as Jack.

Like Christopher Peake, a former Marine himself whose son was a classmate of Jack’s while both were students at New Canaan High School.

“He had sort of a tough facade, but once you tapped that very thin facade you could tell he was really a pussycat,” says Peake.

“As tough as he was, he had a soft spot for animals, on patrols he'd try to free as many animals as he could that were in the Iraqi countryside,” says Captain Timothy Scott.

Now, in the town where he spent his childhood Jack Dempsey is laid to rest with full military honors, as his burial site is showered with not only raindrops, but teardrops as well.

“We're all very sad that he passed away. He was a good guy.”

Jack Dempsey was killed in Iraq on November 13th while on foot patrol while in Fallujah. While this is extremely difficult for his family they can take comfort in knowing that he’s been laid to rest here at home.

Marine's Sacrifice Saved His Comrades
By Lila de Tantillo
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Thursday, June 30, 2005

As the coffin of Corporal Kevin J. Dempsey was lifted from the hearse and carried toward its final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, dozens of Marines raised their right hands in a salute, a final gesture of respect for a man who had given his life to save his comrades.

On November 13, 2004, Dempsey, 23, had been team leader of a Marine foot patrol in Iraq's Anbar province. When the troops discovered an improvised mine — a buried bomb attached to a cell phone — Dempsey took charge of clearing the other Marines from the scene, according to First Sergeant William S. McCoy of the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Center in New Haven, Connecticut.

Barbara Dempsey, above left, at the burial of her son, Marine Corporal Kevin J Dempsey, 23, in Arlington National Cemetery

He saved at least seven of his comrades before an enemy detonated the bomb, killing Dempsey and another Marine.

“Whoever did it was watching when it happened,” McCoy said.

Dempsey — better known as “Jack” because he possessed the same toughness as the legendary boxer — was assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Most recently, he had hailed from Monroe, Connecticut, where his mother, Barbara, and sister Jennifer live. He was a graduate of New Canaan High School, a football star who told friends and family of his dream of joining the Marines.

“He wasn't afraid of anything,” said Pete Barrella, a school security guard who often chatted with Dempsey. Barrella said he paid special attention to Dempsey, knowing he had overcome the hardship of his father's death at a young age. “He was a tough kid, a quiet kid,” he said.

Although Barrella had told Dempsey that he would make a good Marine, the security guard did a double take when Dempsey strode up to him last year in his Marine uniform. Gone was the adolescent in baggy pants he had once known; in his place was a man with a firm handshake and an assignment to fight in Iraq.

His was the sacrifice of a man who had a history of serving as a protector of those around him. As a child, Dempsey was quick to defend children who were being bullied and rescue stray animals, those who knew him said.

Monroe Mayor Andrew J. Nunn said that after Dempsey's death, there was an outpouring of recognition and support in the town. Some residents made meals for Dempsey's family; others donated to charities in his name. The local Red Cross honored him with a hero's award.

Hundreds of his classmates and friends turned out for his funeral at St. Catherine of Sienna in Greenwich, Connecticut, and he was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery nearby.

But on Tuesday, his coffin was disinterred and brought to Arlington, so that he could receive a military funeral and be buried alongside thousands of other war heroes. His grave is near that of another Marine who died in Iraq the same day, in another incident, McCoy said.

After the service, each of the Marines and other service members in attendance approached the coffin. One by one, they bid a final farewell to their comrade.

“It's meaningful that he is coming to Arlington,” said Representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who visited Dempsey's family after his death. “He was very proud of being in the Marines.”

Note: Corporal Dempsey was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 60, Grave 8195) on Wednesday 29 June 2005.




  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/09/1980
  • DATE OF DEATH: 11/13/2004

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