Sergeant Kenneth Booker’s funeral services to be held this weekend

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Switzerland County’s Kenneth “K.R.” Booker, who lost his life defending freedom as part of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” on November 14th, will be laid to rest following services this weekend.

The U.S. Military, working through Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay, has announced that visitation will be held this Saturday, December 8th, from 4-8 p.m. at the Switzerland County High School gymnasium.

The funeral service will be held at the gymnasium beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 9th, with burial in the Slawson Cemetery near Bennington.

Full military rites will be conducted at the graveside by the honor guard of the Fort Knox Ceremonial Unit.

Kenneth Booker was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, and was commanding a Stryker vehicle near Mukhisa, Iraq on Wednesday, November 14th, at approximately 8:28 p.m. when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Kenneth Booker was born on February 5th, 1982, and was member of the Switzerland County High School Class of 2000. He attended Mount Sterling Baptist Church, and while in high school was active in the Switzerland County FFA chapter.

Following graduation he entered the U.S. Army, and was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He served in “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan; and also in “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in Iraq. His service to his country earned him many awards, including the Bronze Star; Purple Heart; two Army Commendation Medals; the Army Achievement Medal; two Good Conduct Medals; the National Defense Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Non-Commissioned Officer Development Program; the Army Service Ribbon; the Overseas Service Ribbon; the Combat Infantry Badge; the Parachute Badge; and Expert Rifle Weapon.

After his heroism serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, Sergeant Booker was assigned to military intelligence at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Preferring to serve in the field rather than in an office, Kenneth Booker requested a transfer back to the infantry division, where he joined a Stryker Brigade Combat Unit at Fort Lewis. It was a part of that unit that saw him return for his third deployment in Iraq.

Kenneth Booker was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

In his free time, Kenneth Booker loved hunting and target shooting; and family and friends will remember his clever sense of humor and his outgoing nature – and also his dedication to his country.

In honor of the memory of Sergeant Kenneth Booker, the Switzerland County School Corporation has canceled tomorrow (Friday) night’s boys basketball game that was scheduled to be played at home versus Rising Sun.

Saturday night’s girls varsity game that was to see the Lady Pacers host Oldenburg Academy was also canceled and rescheduled.

Sergeant Kenneth Raymond Booker is survived by his father and stepmother, SSG Charles Raymond and Brenda “Shorty” Booker of Vevay; his mother and stepfather, Becky and Robert Graham of Milton, Kentucky; his brother, Kaleb Daniel Booker of Madison; and his wife, Betzaida Booker of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

He is also survived by his paternal grandmother, Inez Booker of Moorefield; his paternal grandfather, SFC Raymond H. Booker (Retired) of Burkesville, Kentucky; his paternal great-grandmother, Dorothy McMackin of Moorefield; his stepbrothers, Keith Briner and wife Angie of Indianapolis and Robert Graham, Jr., of Houghton, Louisiana; his stepsister, Katrina Soles of Houghton, Louisiana; his aunts, Alice Powell and husband Darrell of Madison and Eula Butler and husband Shan of Vevay; his great-great-aunt, Ruby McMackin of Bennington; his niece, Hailey; his nephew, Blayden; and his cousins, Jason Rook, Jeremy Stevens, Jarrid Stevens, Andrew Peelman and Angela Powell.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, James and Cathy (Temple) Daughrity; and his great-grandfather, Charles L. McMackin.

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A complete obituary for Sergeant Kenneth Raymond Booker can be found on page 2 of today’s edition.