First Lieutenant Robert Henderson was remembered as a brave soldier, loving husband and son, and unabashed patriot at funeral services Tuesday.
Henderson was killed when his convoy was ambushed April 17 in Iraq. He served as a platoon sergeant in the Kentucky National Guard for eight years.
Hundreds of family and friends were able to look at letters Henderson had written to his wife, and hear his voice for the last time when messages he left on an answering machine were replayed during the service. The letters and messages reflected Henderson's love for his wife, dedication to his mission, and excitement over the birth of his first child in July.
Henderson was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously for what military officials describe as heroic actions even after he was wounded during the ambush.
"He drove himself and prevented those others from driving in there and took cover and returned fire, and probably saved hundreds of lives," said Gen. Donald Storm, commanding officer of the KY Natl. Guard.
"He's a tremendous warrior, a patriot, and committed to the way we live in this country and the way we live in this great community that he's from, and our way of life," Storm said.
Co-workers at Lowes, where Henderson had worked for nine years, remembered a hard-working and friendly employee who would "always go above and beyond the call of duty," said co-worker Brian Carey.
Carey read an open letter he wrote to Henderson's wife and unborn son as part of the service.
"It was impressed upon me to share something that I shared with Rob, to share that with his unborn child and his wife, so that when his son is born, he'll have some idea of what Rob meant to a lot of us at Lowe's. He was always showing integrity in his job, and he was a loyal friend and I have nothing but respect for him, and I hope that the words that were spoken over him today did him justice," Carey said.