Kelly Kennedy

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Kelly Kennedy | Army Times

Kelly Kennedy

Times News Service reporter Kelly Kennedy is responsible for bringing the story of toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan to light. For her leadership and extensive coverage of military and veterans health care and benefits issues, she was honored with the DAV’s 2010 Bugle Award.

The annual award, recognizing outstanding journalism, was presented by National Commander Roberto Barrera at the DAV’s 89th National Convention.

“When it comes to the health concerns and care of those who have served, Kelly Kennedy is the foremost expert in her field,” said Commander Barrera. “The potential epidemic of toxic burn pit exposures facing veterans of the recent wars would not have come to light without her passionate and unyielding search for answers.”

“Through her coverage, which forms the foundation of the public’s knowledge on this issue, burn pits have closed, veterans claims for service connection are being justified and our nation is beginning to move past a sad trend of ignoring its responsibility to those who are exposed to toxins while serving their country in a time of war,” Commander Barrera said.

In addition to her continuing coverage of burn pits which began with a groundbreaking story in 2007, the DAV cited Kennedy’s extensive body of work covering military health, medical and science issues for Army Times and the Times News Services’ military-oriented publications. Her coverage of psychological trauma and traumatic brain injuries in particular has contributed immeasurably to the wellbeing of the military and veterans communities.

Kennedy was also recognized for her work as a correspondent in Iraq and her recent book, “They Fought For Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq.

“Kelly Kennedy is an Army veteran who has literally put her life on the line to catalogue the courage, service and sacrifices of our fighting men and women. She never forgot where she came from and continues to fight to shine a light on the issues that impact the health of those who’ve served,” said Arthur H. Wilson, DAV National Adjutant. “It is our honor to recognize her work, strength and courage.”