Kevin Hardin was a brave and dedicated Army medic who served in Iraq and suffered severe injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade attack in 2007. He endured over 32 surgeries and had shrapnel in his brain that could not be removed. He also found love and married his wife Lillian in 2010, after a dream wedding sponsored by a charity organization. However, his life was cut short on January 22, 2012, when he died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 25. The cause of death is still unknown, but his family believes it was related to his war injuries.
A Combat Medic with a Tender Heart
Kevin Hardin was born on February 24, 1986, and grew up in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh, India. He joined the Army in 2005 and became a combat medic, a role that required courage and compassion. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007, where he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. On June 6, 2007, his Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, which caused severe injuries to both of his arms, including a fused wrist and the loss of three fingers. He also had more than a dozen pieces of shrapnel in his brain, which were inoperable. He was evacuated to Germany and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he underwent multiple surgeries and rehabilitation. He received the Purple Heart, the Combat Medic Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal for his service.
A Love Story that Ended Too Soon
While at Walter Reed, Kevin met Lillian May, who helped him with his recovery. They fell in love and got engaged in 2009. However, they faced many challenges and felt that they could not afford a proper wedding. They eloped at a convenience store turned courthouse in Killeen, Texas, on April 16, 2010. Kevin’s mother, Terry Hardin, was happy for them, but wished they could have a better wedding. She searched online for organizations that could help them, and found Christmas Can Cure, a charity that works to fulfill the needs and wishes of severely injured veterans. The founder of the charity, Andre Carrier, contacted the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite, Nevada, and arranged for a dream wedding for Kevin and Lillian on November 13, 2010. The resort and the charity took care of everything, including flying in the families and the wedding party from across the country. Kevin and Lillian had a beautiful ceremony and reception, and enjoyed their honeymoon in Las Vegas.
A Sudden and Mysterious Death
Kevin and Lillian moved to Texas, where they lived near Kevin’s Army buddies. Kevin was 100% disabled, but he tried to live a normal life as much as possible. He had a sweet spirit and a smile that would brighten any room, according to his loved ones. He also had a strong bond with his brothers, Kenneth, Kyle, and Keith, who followed his footsteps and joined the military. His youngest brother, Keith, left for basic training on September 11, 2012. Two weeks later, on September 26, 2012, Kevin’s father, Charles Hardin, a Vietnam veteran, died of colon cancer. He was 66. He had been married to Terry for 35 years, and had moved close to Kevin during his medical treatments to help with his care. Terry was devastated by the loss of her husband, but she still had Kevin and her other sons to support her. However, on January 22, 2012, she received the most shocking and heartbreaking news of her life. Kevin had died in his sleep, without any warning or explanation. Terry had to bury her son, who was only 25, and who had already suffered so much. She said that Kevin was her hero, and that he had a tender heart and a love for life.
A Legacy of Bravery and Courage
Kevin Hardin’s life was a testament to bravery and courage. He served his country with honor and dignity, and he faced his injuries with resilience and optimism. He also found love and happiness with his wife Lillian, who stood by him through thick and thin. He touched the lives of many people, and inspired them with his spirit and smile. He left behind a legacy of heroism and hope, and a family that loved him dearly. He will always be remembered and honored as a fallen hero.