The following is a press release on behalf of the 1st Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna Chapter #004 of the Irish Veterans. It is a local chapter forming in Newport that is a chapter of the Irish Veterans Association that was founded in Kinsale Ireland, Newport’s sister city.
On Friday February 7th, the 1SG P. Andrew McKenna Chapter #004 of the Irish Veterans will celebrate their commissioning with a plank dedication ceremony at the Fastnet Pub, 1 Broadway, Newport, at 6:00pm to which the public is invited.
A group of local Irish-American Veterans & Friends have led the charge to establish the Rhode Island, 1SG P. Andrew McKenna Chapter of the Irish Veterans, the 4th United States chapter, under the auspices of the headquarters chapter in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. The local chapter endeavors to celebrate the military veterans’ community in Rhode Island, particularly those veterans of Irish heritage, as well as to support charitable causes especially the 1SGT Andrew McKenna Scholarship Fund that was founded in 2015 shortly after Andrew’s death.
The Chapter is dedicated to the memory of 1SG P. Andrew McKenna who grew up in Bristol, Rhode Island and following high school graduation, enlisted in the US Army fulfilling his life-long desire to be a soldier. During his nearly 18-years of service 1SG McKenna completed 5 combat tours and while deployed on his 6th combat tour was killed in action on August 8, 2015 in Kabul, Afghanistan. At the time, Andrew was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, and was serving as 1st Sergeant at Camp Integrity. His actions while under enemy attack ensured the safety of over 300 people for which he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the 3rd highest military honor for valor on the battlefield.
On Saturday February 8th, the Chapter will celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 12 William St., Newport at 11:30am to which the public is also invited. Following Mass a luncheon with separate admission will be held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, 194 Bellevue Avenue Newport.