Flags are at half-staff in Waycross, Georgia, Spc. Kennedy Sanders' hometown. Her family says while tributes like these mean so much, they're in disbelief that their daughter is gone.
To Sanders' mom and aunt, she was still their "munchkin" — even at 24 years old.
Sanders was among the three American troops killed in Jordan on Sunday after an Iran-backed militia unleashed a deadly drone strike on a U.S. base. More than 40 others were also wounded.
Kennedy's mother, Oneida Oliver-Sanders, says her daughter enlisted in the Army Reserve five years ago as horizontal construction engineer, helping build infrastructure for troops in the Middle East.
She was already highly decorated and dreamed of becoming a full-time soldier on active duty.
And in a call to Sanders' mother Tuesday, President Joe Biden promoted Spc. Sanders to the rank of sergeant.
"That's something she had been working on while she was there, she had just put in her promotion paperwork before all of this happened," Oliver-Sanders said.
The other two service members killed were 46-year-old Sgt. William Rivers — a 13-year veteran from Carrollton, Georgia — and Spc. Breonna Moffett, who was 23 years old, from Savannah, Georgia.
This was Moffett's first deployment after joining the Army Reserve out of high school in 2019. Moffett's parents told CNN she was nervous to go overseas.
Sanders' family says the two young women were close friends, and they're glad they had each other at the end.
In Sanders' hometown of Waycross, the mayor plans to name a street after her and proclaim her birthday as a day for the city to honor her life.
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