Jack T. Hennessy always seemed to stand out in high school. At football games, he was the one in face paint cheering the loudest. At his own gymnastics meets, Hennessy would boost his teammates with a joke or encouraging word.
"I was trying to think who he hung out with the most and I couldn't really put my finger on it," classmate Jason Duffy said. "He was the type of guy who could hang out with everybody."
Hennessy, 21, of Naperville, Ill., died Oct. 1 while manning a checkpoint near Baghdad. He was based at Fort Hood.
Hennessy competed in wrestling, gymnastics and soccer in high school and joined the Army right after graduating in 2001.
"He definitely lightened up the room," said friend Tony Riva. "Everybody has at least one memory of him cracking jokes, being the life of the party."
Hennessy was nearing the end of his four years of service and was looking forward to life after soldiering, including attending college, said friend Jessi Guziec.
He is survived by his parents, Bernie and Cindy Hennessy.