Spc James Clifford Kesinger
Born: October 21, 1973 in Corpus Christi, Texas
Died: December 13, 2005 in Taji, Iraq
Spc. James C. Kesinger of Pharr, Texas graduated in 1993 from Zapata High School where he was one of two male cheerleaders there. He also ran track, played football and was in the school band. James entered in the Army through the National Guard in 2001 and then enlisted in the reserves in 2002. He became active duty in 2004 arriving at Fort Riley in June of 2004. This was his second deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After being active as a reservist for his first stint in Iraq, he joined the Army for a second tour. He believed in fighting for his country. His grandfather fought in World War II and his father had served in Vietnam. Despite being thousands of miles away in Iraq, James made it a point to speak with his wife every day. On December 12, their conversation was filled with excitement. James was almost finished with his second tour of duty and would be returning home the first week in January. The couple planned to drive from their home at Fort Riley to Pharr, drop off the kids with her parents and enjoy some much needed time alone in Corpus Christi. The rest of their visit would be spent with family and friends and taking the children fishing. James died the next day. He was a caring and devoted family man with a bright smile and winning sense of humor. James was killed at age 32 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV while his unit was conducting combat operations in Taji, Iraq.
3rd Brigade Combat Team
Fort Riley, Kansas
Burial is at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, Texas – Sec 34 Row A Site 4