Susan is a National Gold Star Mother and resides in the Suburban Western New York area. The daughter of a Marine, and Army Veteran, She is also the Mother of a Fallen American Hero, Gunnery Sgt, Aaron Michael Kenefick a highly decorated and stellar Marine of over twelve years.
Susan is also known as a Veterans Advocate and a National voice. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, and other national media as well as and Patriot radio. Having worked with various Congressmen concerning our Military and Veterans, she has been sought out by many as the “the Gold Star Mother with a voice” – and “go to person”.
Aaron was a “Noble Warrior,” yet first and foremost, Aaron was a child of God, and a light to the world. He knew at a young age that he wanted to serve his country, so he enlisted into the Marine delayed entry program at the beginning of his senior year of high school in 1996. In 1997, after graduation, he attended boot camp in Paris Island, S.C. where he would prepare for his adult career serving for over twelve years. It was to be his entire adult life’s career path, training and mentoring our American Legacy, making a difference professionally as well as spiritually in the hearts and minds of men and woman who crossed his path, hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst during the security and protection of our country.
Sgt, Aaron Michael Kenefick will forever be tied to the two living Medal of Honor recipients, Marine Sgt Dakota Meyer and Army Captain William Swenson for their roles played out during the “Ganjgal Ambush” one of the tragic losses during the Afghanistan war.
His name Aaron Michael, meaning “Rod of Truth,” and “Warrior Angel,” carried the vibrations of a more symbolic measure as he grew into himself as a protector for America, tragically, ending as an American Hero at the age of thirty and a half years old. Aaron in his own words: “I’m a laid back guy who try’s not to take himself too seriously. I’ve experienced many things in life, both good and bad and I have to say, it’s made me the strong man that I am today. I cherish my friends and my family more than anything in this world as they have always been there for me through the good times and the bad times. I’ve been all over the world, pick a place and I’ve probably been there but my days of traveling are far from over. I have a competitive spirit and I am driven my ambitions which includes first and foremost, happiness and whatever that encompasses. I’m not afraid to take chances or risks. No risk, no reward but I do understand that for every action there is a consequence.”
The tragic loss of Susan’s son and his Marine Embedded Training Team, raised more questions than answers. It was through a Mother’s undying love, that Susan transformed into an Investigative Researcher, and through her countless hours, days, weeks and years connecting the dots, factual documentation, eyewitness accounts and more, emerged a back story to the crimes that took place on the battlefield that fateful day of September 8th 2009. Susan is currently working on her book and hopes that by sharing her sons tragedy, light will be shed, new laws will be written to protect our military,especially during war and on foreign lands, and justice will be served.
Susan has networked around the country with various foundations and 501c3 organizations, speaking and putting forums together. Included yet not limited to Veterans and Gold Star Families who have suffered the deepest losses due to the Politics of War. Susan has two married daughters and seven grandchildren, they are her driving force for her roll in preserving America’s legacy and a future for generations to come.
Date of birth: February 5, 1979
Date of death: September 8, 2009
Place of Birth: New York, Williamsville
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” (Posthumously) to Gunnery Sergeant Aaron M. Kenefick, United States Marine Corps, for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as an Staff Noncommissioned Officer Advisor-Mentor, 1st Kandak, 2d Brigade, 201st Corps, Afghan National Army, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 8 September 2009. Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick was a member of a combined Marine and Afghan patrol that led the way into Ganjgal village to visit with village elders. As the patrol entered the village it was ambushed. Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick took cover near a retaining wall and returned fire. When the team leader directed his Marines and the Afghan soldiers to attack and seize the house from which they were receiving fire, Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick boldly led the Afghan soldiers forward under fire and cleared the house. The enemy then attempted to encircle the team’s position while subjecting the team to a hail of machine gun and rocket fire. Despite being pinned down, Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick returned fire and called in supporting artillery and mortar fire before falling mortally wounded. Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick fought with bravery and determination while demonstrating unwavering courage in the face of the enemy. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions and exceptional dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Gunnery Sergeant Kenefick is authorized the Combat “V”.)