PFC Justin J. Kennie, son of Karen Kennie and Philip Stewart, lived in Westbrook, ME until he turned 11 years of age before moving to Cornish, ME – the town which he considered his home. PFC Kennie was struck by a motor vehicle on November 2, 2008 while crossing Interstate 81 in Watertown, NY. He was stationed at nearby Fort Drum.
Ever since he was a young boy, Justin wanted to be a soldier. Throughout high school, he was actively engaged as a member of the ROTC program. He achieved his dream soon after graduation when he enlisted into the U.S. Army. Justin is described by his closest friends and family as being an extremely high-spirited young man who loved to cook and play paintball. He was a selfless and passionate individual who always took the most optimistic outlook upon any situation. His mother, Karen Kennie, illustrates him best by his unyielding upbeat personality. “He was my day,” she says. “He was always smiling.” So much, in fact, that his Drill Sergeants’ named him “Skittles” during Basic Training.
Karen describes how before Justin passed, he hid a time capsule in the backyard of their home. This capsule is yet to be dug up, however, she looks forward to the opportunity of retrieving this capsule sometime in the near future. The capsule is buried in a strawberry patch which Justin made for his mother. The stone which will be carried forth within The Summit Project was retrieved from a rock wall which lay near this strawberry patch, just to the right of Justin in the picture above.