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Reflections: Dedication of the Captain Kimberly Hampton Memorial Park

Written by Karen Brewer, Publisher

The Captain Kimberly Hampton Memorial Park at the Captain Kimberly Hampton Memorial Library in Easley was dedicated the morning of Monday, March 2, 2020. Captain Hampton, a 1994 Easley High School graduate and pilot with the United States Army 82nd Airborne Division, was killed on January 2, 2004, at the age of 27, when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq. The new park includes a OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, the same kind of helicopter that Kimberly flew.

At the time of Kimberly’s death, I was the Editor of The Pickens Sentinel, and I met and interviewed Kimberly’s parents, Dale and Ann Hampton, in their Easley home and wrote an in-depth story about Kimberly. (I also attended her funeral service, held at Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, and wrote an in-depth story on the service.) Kimberly was the first female pilot killed in Iraq, but her mother told me that Kimberly preferred to be considered a soldier and a pilot who happened to be female. "She felt that, given the opportunities, within reason, she could do anything anyone else could do," Ann said. When she was in third grade, Kimberly had written for a school assignment that she wanted "to fly like a bird." "Be free and independent were the qualities she was referring to," said Dale. "And that was what she ended up doing." 

These 16 years later, her fellow citizens continue to honor the memory of Kimberly Hampton, and we honor her family, as well. We could never repay the debt we owe to those who sacrifice for our freedom.

Click here to read The Christian View magazine's in-depth article on the dedication ceremony for the Captain Kimberly Hampton Memorial Park and view many photos from the event.

At the conclusion of the article are links to previous articles on Operation Dragonfly, published in The Christian View magazine. These articles have always been free to read online.

In addition, a special free Veterans print issue of The Christian View magazine, dedicated to honoring our veterans, included an article on Captain Kimberly Hampton and the new park. That print issue can be read free online by clicking here.