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Cape Cod Friends Remember U.S. Navy SEAL Kevin Houston

BOSTON — A Navy SEAL from Cape Cod is among the 30 Americans who died Saturday when insurgents shot down their helicopter after a battle in Afghanistan.

"Jocked up" U.S. Navy SEAL Kevin Houston on deployment. (Courtesy of Jarrod Paquette)

"Jocked up" U.S. Navy SEAL Kevin Houston on deployment. (Courtesy of Jarrod Paquette)

Thirty-six-year-old Kevin Houston was among the 22 members from the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six on board. It’s the same special operations unit that killed Osama bin Laden, though U.S. officials say Houston and those killed on Saturday didn’t take part in that operation.

Some of Houston’s classmates gathered Sunday to remember their friend.

In the living room of his house in Osterville, Joe Kennedy shakes his head, remembering the very first thing Houston told him when he met him back in the fifth grade: “My name is Kevin, and I’m gonna be a Navy SEAL.”

A Navy SEAL. Joe didn’t even know what that was. But he was impressed with the confidence of this mixed-race kid raised by a single mom.

“To know your place that early in life and relentlessly pursue it and do it is a rare thing,” said Kevin MacConnell, another friend from elementary school. He learned how driven Houston was one summer day when they were playing basketball out on the driveway.

“There was this one day it was just me and Kev. I told him he couldn’t dunk the basketball and I bet him a steak and cheese sub at the local sub shop down the street, called Buffy’s. And he’s like, ‘Like hell I can’t.’ And I knew he couldn’t, because I seen him try before. So I was just thinking I was getting a free sub, you know,” he said.

That was late afternoon. Houston took the ball and kept trying to dunk over and over, all through dinner and TV. Finally MacConnell’s dad went out to say he needed to get some sleep. The next day, though, Kevin was back.

“And he finally dunked the basketball. I looked at it like: that night. But he said, ‘You just said I couldn’t dunk, not that it had to be that night,’ so it was like a technicality! Nobody got the sub,” MacConnell said. “Maybe I should’ve gave the sub. But he didn’t do it that night!”

An athlete who trained harder than anyone, Kevin played high school basketball. He was captain of the football team. Kennedy was co-captain with him. But above all, Kennedy remembers how outgoing Houston was.

“Preppies, jocks, all of it. Kevin got along with everybody, absolutely everybody,” Kennedy said.

Kevin also loved fast motorcycles and got in a terrible crash his senior year. In a wheelchair at graduation, he stood up out of it to walk across the stage to accept his diploma.

After recovering from the crash, Kevin join the demanding life of Navy service, eventually making it to be a SEAL. He married, had kids. Still, each summer he‘d come back to visit his friends on the Cape.

It was in early May this year, when friend Jarrod Paquette got a call from Kevin, with some incredible news.

“Hey Boss! We got him,” Kevin said.

“Got who?”

“The big dog. Done-ski.”

Osama bin Laden. Not Kevin, but other members of his secretive Navy SEAL Team Six.

Paquette said the call was unusual, because even with close friends, Kevin played down his service on the covert operations team. It might be why Kevin loved the YouTube parody, in which an actor plays a Navy SEAL bragging at a bar.

“I think he just loved that — maybe deep down, they would love to be able to do [that]. You know, to be able to let loose and scream out loud and have it be known,” Paquette said.

While his friends were enjoying another sandy summer on the Cape, Kevin died in a faraway region of arid shale and pitched mountainsides. Paquette said it gives him comfort knowing that Kevin died doing what he always wanted to do.

“He would often say, ‘I’m at the tip of the spear. I’m right where I wanna be,’” Paquette said.

Houston will be laid to rest later this week.

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  • P. A.

    Top notch person. He will be missed.

    • Crlbarbour

      RIP Kevin. Thank you for your service to our country.  God bless your family.

  • dallascowboysfan

    Rest in peace, Mr. Houston. You’ve made your family and your Country proud. God bless you & your family

  • Heavy Heart in Michigan

    Bless his family and friends. My heart goes out to all have lost so much…

  • Marcus B

    GoD Bless Kevin

  • OS1(SW)

    Rest in peace brother! 

  • GMC(SW) Thompson

    Rest in Peace Kevin.  Your service and dedication is greatly appreciated.  

  • Paytonbrody

    You were a great man, a true hero, you dedicated your life to the U.S. – God Bless you and your family. 

  • Charlessamms

    Kevin was a very likable guy, everyone laughed at his jokes. A guy I will never forget. The world was a better place with him in it.

  • CC

    Kevin was one of a kind. You couldn’t help but like and laugh with him. He was ambitious and knew what he want.  He was irreplaceable and will be missed.

  • Wilburn Julie

    RIP Kevin…  Thanks you so much for your services.  Prayers being sent to your loved ones…

  • Bob T

    On behalf of my entire family, THANK-YOU to an American hero.  May God Bless you Kevin and your family.  Our nations freedoms are only possible through people like you.

  • Jmarr76

    my cousin was my hero and died doing what he loved most R.I.P Kevin

  • Jmarr76

    my cousin was my hero and died doing what he loved most R.I.P Kevin

  • Jmarr76

    my cousin was my hero and died doing what he loved most R.I.P Kevin

  • ANDRESLAUGHTER28

    Was Kevin every stationed  in Japan around 95-97

    • Sealmom041@aol.com

      Yes. (this is his mom) he was in 95 and had an accident there. Ring any bells? My email is: sealmom041@aol.com

      • ANDRESLAUGHTER28

        I am sorry for your lost ma’am, I am his friend that help him threw that night in japan, we all love him, i havent herd from him since then, but i could never forget kevin, he was the best at everything, a champion, but yet always so humble He will be missed. I dont mean any disrespect but he gave his life doing what he enjoyed doing. (defending our country). We didnt meet till 95, 2 scared little boys in a new world, we became best friends, are girlsfriends were bestfreinds, we did everything together. You did a great job in his up bringing, Kevin was a standup guy, and always looked out for those who couldnt do for thereselves. THANKYOU. I will call my babymother in japan to c if they still have pitcures of us together, or pitcures of Kevin. Thankyou for replying, i will stay in touch threw posting my coments and continue to pray for yall. GOD BLESS. VFA-195  Andre Slaughter     

        • Former AO2Rodriguez

          I am chris rodriguez and I was stationed with him in japa (VFA-195)He is/was a stand up person.very outgoing and always a joy to be around. My prayers are with you and your family.

      • Greenbee97

        Hi MOM this JEAN ” B” FL. I’m still in disbelief, still mourning,you are in my prayers.

  • Scarlett S.

    God bless you, Kevin, for your service to your country. You were a remarkable young man who gave your all for the protection of your fellow citizens. We will not forget you. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E3XKBDZ5EQPUORBWXGMO46XZHU Odt

    He wasn’t mixed race, he was a black man.

    • Air Force Pilot

      He was an AMERICAN. And a Hero!

  • Sealmom041

    I’m kevins mom loving every forum in which Kevin is discussed!

    • Dylan

      God bless you, your son was an outstanding man. You should be proud.

    • Tobeyta

      Hello kevins mom im thomas tobey i served alongside your son in 1997 with the hs2 squadron and cruised on the constellation great man always smiling and upbeat we were very young then doesnt seem real i still have the book with his picture from the 97 cruise on pg 399 and mine 401words cant explain

    • Jbealtracy

      thank you for this hero  i cried when i seen his story  god bless you and your son

  • Guest

    To K . MacConnell : You owed him that sub.

  • Tobeyta

    I served with houston in 97 in hs-2 sandiego aboard constellation still have the cruise book we were younger than great man always was smiling upbeat i knew him still cant believe it we r the same age

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