CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WKBW) — A Williamsville war hero, who died fighting for freedom in Afghanistan, is being honored by the local community.
Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Kenefick paid the ultimate sacrifice, dying in 2009 while supporting combat operations.
30-year-old Sergeant Kenefick is one of more than 2,400 American service members killed during the 20 year war.
“Just a magnificent soul — and — he was a stellar young man and older man that he became,” reflected Susan Price, mother.
Price’s raw grief remains 12-years after her son died in September 8, 2009.
Price says her son died with three others in an ambush while fighting in Afghanistan.
“The things that went on and the complicated ambush of Ganjga — never should have taken place — it's know as before Benghazi — there was the Ganjga ambush,” remarked Price.
An investigation into the attack stated the two commanding officers were inadequate and ineffective and their actions contributed directly to the loss of life.
With the end of the war, Price say it brings it all back.
“We feel every emotion there is — there's no words for certain actions or in action by those at the highest level of government —we should have been out of this war a long time ago,” replied Price.
“Every time we hear about another solider or marine getting killed in Afghanistan — it's like open heart surgery for us,” Price said.
Sgt. Kenefick grew up in Williamsville, attended Williamsville schools. He loved and play sports and 10th grade he wanted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and join the Marine Corps.
“What was it like for you when you knew he had to go to war?" Buckley asked.
“Ugh — he started to tell me — if you ever see two marines at the door — you'll known I’m with guy,” declared Price.
Price says her son loved to mentor children.
And a former school friend made arrangements to have this Boys and Girls club in Cheektowaga renamed in his honor.
“These young people will have hope for a wonderful future — because some of them will be American heroes,” noted Price.
Price says her son was a "golden boy" loved by many.
"Everybody loved Aaron. He loved everybody and I’m grateful that the Lord allowed me to be his mother," Price replied.