ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Buncombe County Schools lost one of its own on April 11, 2006, when Sgt. Kenneth Dale Hess was killed while serving in Iraq.
Hess was a member of the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He was born in Asheville and attended A.C. Reynolds High School. His father is Terry Hess, senior supervisor of Buncombe County Schools' transportation department. At that time, the transportation department was the only district facility lacking a flag pole. But the death of Sgt. Hess made the department's staff aware of the need to display their patriotism.
With the opening of the district’s new maintenance department facility, the transportation department inherited the old facility's flag pole.
After learning that the transportation department wanted to have a planter around the flag pole and a plaque to honor Sgt. Hess, Boy Scout Russell Brown Jr. volunteered as his Eagle Scout leadership service project.
Russell and the other scouts in his troop constructed a memorial landscape that consists of a 9-foot-diameter brick planter filled with shrubbery and flower bulbs around the flag pole.
In a recent ceremony, the plaque was installed and the flag pole and landscape were dedicated in remembrance of Sgt. Hess and his service to the country.