Kylie was only 15 years old when her dad, Sgt. Kirk Avery Owen, died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit while on deployment. The death of her father has been extremely hard for her, but she remembers that her dad would still want her to make the most of the life that he fought for her to live. Sgt. Owen’s sacrifice means everything to Kylie.
Kylie and her father shared a love for basketball and big dreams. They would lose track of time shooting free-throws and running drills at the local park, as they imagined her playing Division 1 college basketball.
“I am now carrying on the basketball tradition. I am the coach of the sophomore team at the school that we both graduated from – Sapulpa High School,” explained Kylie.
She prides herself in knowing not only how to play basketball, but in knowing the game, how it works and the strategy behind it. Her dad helped her learn the ins and outs of basketball, and now that’s how she approaches everything in life.
On Veteran’s Day, Kylie takes time to remember and thank the veterans we know and love. Her family usually decorates her dad’s grave very patriotic for his remembrance.
Kylie attends University of Arkansas, as an international studies major, with the help of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Without the help of Fallen Patriots, Kylie says she probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to attend a big university and would have enrolled at a community college in Oklahoma. She feels blessed to have this opportunity even though her dad is gone. To her, the gift of a college education will enable her to do great things in life.
Her future goals are to continue following her dreams, experiencing life and never forgetting how much her dad loves her.