It is the saddest of homecomings. The body of Army Specialist Kevin Mowl returned home. His casket draped in the American flag and his fellow soldiers saluting his service and sacrifice. Thursday the family mourned privately, but Wednesday night they opened up to News 8 Now at their Pittsford home. Kevin's sister Carlene talked about the support their family has received from this community.
"It's been invaluable to us as a family. We took every single piece of mail that came in to Kevin's room we read it to him. My mom read him his guest book entries and I know just hearing from people made a huge difference to him,” Carlene said.
Carlene also shared some recent memories of Kevin she cherishes including time they spent together in
"We decided to do the freedom trail because Kevin loved history and it was 10 degrees out. It was freezing, the whole city was covered in ice, but we braved the weather and it was a time I could share one of Kevin's passions with him,” Carlene said.
It was the adventure with her brother Kevin that she says she will never forget.
"I have no history aptitude and Kevin made fun of me the whole day because we would point out these headstones and I had no idea who was who. I also can't read a map so Kevin and I took 8 wrong turns and it was so much fun for us and we were doing something that he enjoyed and I enjoyed it and it was one of the best days,” Carlene said.
Meanwhile, funeral services are set for Army Specialist Kevin Mowl. Calling hours will be held Friday, February 29th, 2-4pm and 7-9pm at the Anthony Funeral Chapel, located at 2305 Monroe Ave.
A full military funeral is planned for Saturday at 10am at the Linehan Chapel in the Golisano Academic Center at Nazareth College, 4245 East Ave., Pittsford.
In lieu of flowers, donations can made in Kevin's memory to the Travel Abroad Program at the Rochester School for the Deaf. The address is 1545 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY 14621.
Updated: February 27, 2008
You may not have known Army Specialist Kevin Mowl personally, but you have likely heard his story. He was injured in a bomb blast in Iraq last August. Kevin fought for his life ever since and we followed it all through the words of his family in an on-line journal. Monday the 22 year old Pittsford native passed away.
His parents have been in Washington ever since making funeral arrangements for the Purple Heart recipient. Wednesday night they arrived home for the first time since he died and very graciously spent time with our Matt Molloy.
You don't need to understand sign language to grasp the heartbreak of Dr. Harold Mowl and his family. Mowl is superintendent at the Rochester School for the Deaf and father of Army Specialist Kevin Mowl. He talked with us with the help of an interpreter and his daughter.
“We lost a great son, my daughter Carlene lost a great brother,” said Dr. Mowl.
It was August of last year in Iraq when a bomb exploded near Kevin’s vehicle. He suffered severe brain trauma. Since then his family has kept an online journal of his battle to recover, a battle he lost on Monday.
"Kevin was a person who worked very hard, played very hard he had a great sense of humor,” said Dr. Mowl.
Kevin earned the Purple Heart, an award presented to him personally by President Bush.
"We've told Kevin that over and over again that we're very proud of him,” said Dr. Mowl.
Through that online journal many have followed Kevin’s story, but none more closely than the staff and students at the Rochester School for the Deaf.
"Students at our school have been very supportive of me. I see them in the lunchroom or wherever I may be and they ask me, ‘How's Kevin? Is he coming home soon?’"
Kevin had visited the school before sharing his experience in the military with students.
"This is a great opportunity for them to learn the expression, war hits home,” said Dr. Mowl. “Value life and give others support when they need it,” he said.
From: February 25th, 2008
Kevin Mowl, a Pittsford soldier severly injured in Iraq, has died. In an online journal, his family writes that he passed away peacefully Monday at 10:13 a.m. at Bethesda Military Hospital in Maryland. His family was by his side.
Mowl had suffered severe brain trauma and other injuries after a bomb went off near his unit in August. He was awarded the Purple Heart medal by the President.
"He was just an energetic, fun kid someone you look forward to having come into your classroom everyday,” said Gail Shears, Mowl’s sixth grade teacher.
Kevin's father, Harold, is superintendent of the
"We tell them we're really proud of Kevin and we're glad he was there to help protect us. We just had an assembly for all the kids and we explained to them and we're providing them with counseling just hoping they understand,” said Paul Holmes with the
Mowl was 22 years old.
Click here for the website his family set up. There you can sign a guestbook for condolences.