Region 8 Soldier Killed in Iraq Laid to Rest in Upstate New York

MARCH 15, 2006 - Posted at 7:49 a.m. CST

MEXICO, NY - An Arkansas soldier who was an expert at disarming bombs has been laid to rest in his wife's upstate New York hometown.

Army Staff Sergeant Kevin Jessen of Paragould (Oak Grove Heights) was killed March 4 when an improvised explosive device went off in Rawah, Iraq.  He was an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 22nd Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Palermo United Methodist Church pastor Tammy Nipper said it was an honor to pay tribute to the 28-year-old soldier.

She called Jessen "a hero and a man that gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life."

Mourners lined the street in the town of Mexico, New York, waving American flags as Jessen's body was taken to Palermo Cemetery seven miles away.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)