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California post office to be renamed for MTSU hero alumnus

Lt. Ken Ballard

The hometown post office of an MTSU alumnus killed in Iraq will be renamed to honor his service and his sacrifice.

The U.S. Senate gave unanimous final passage on Jan. 4 to a measure by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., to rename a post office on Hope Street in Mountain View, Calif., the “Lieutenant Kenneth N. Ballard Memorial Post Office.” President Barack Obama signed the measure into law on Jan. 10.

A statement released by Eshoo’s Washington office describes Ballard as “brave, courageous and a hero. For his service, he should be remembered and honored by our community.”

Ballard was born in 1977 in Rome, N.Y. He moved to Mountain View in 1981 and graduated from high school there in 1995, winning the Gold to Green Army ROTC Scholarship.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ken Ballard is among the MTSU alumni honored at the Veterans Memorial outside the Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

“A son of a single mother, he went to the Army after school, served in Bosnia and Macedonia, decided to continue his education and came to MTSU,” said Dr. Andrei Korobkov, an MTSU political science professor who taught Ballard in three classes.

“He was an international-relations major and an ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) minor. He was commissioned and quickly went to Iraq, where he was in the most dangerous area of the Sunni Triangle.”

Ballard was killed in Najaf, Iraq, on May 30, 2004, when the M-240 weapon on his vehicle discharged accidentally. He was a major inspirational force behind the creation of the MTSU Veterans Memorial, which was completed in 2009 outside the Tom Jackson Building on the east side of campus.

For more information about the MTSU Veterans Memorial, contact Korobkov at andrei.korobkov@mtsu.edu or Dr. Derek Frisby at derek.frisby@mtsu.edu. For more information about Ballard, visit his memorial website at http://ltkenballard.com.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

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