Fallen Overland Park Soldier’s Baby Holds Family Together

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Hundreds filled a church Monday evening to honor a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

Sgt. Mike Knapp was killed in Afghanistan on May 18.  Knapp's family held a visitation for him at 6 p.m. at Legacy Christian Church.

Hundreds of guests came.  They all knew Knapp in different ways.

But Roger Worsham told FOX 4 about his special bond with the 28-year-old and his growing family and why he thinks it's Knapp's 9-month-old daughter that is holding them all together.

Worsham said Kinsley Knapp is a miracle.  She was born about two months premature and the apple of daddy's eyes.

"To see this big, strapping army soldier being so gentle and so loving to this little tiny, tiny baby was just really special," Worsham said.

Kinsley is a special baby who has no idea why a huge crown poured into the church to honor her father.  But for Worsham, it's simple.

"He was a great father, he was a great husband, and he was a great American," Worsham said.

Worsham said although he was Knapp and his wife Abby's pastor in Washington, their bond goes far beyond that.  The couple lived with Worsham and his wife for a year while Knapp was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

But Abby had moved back to Kansas to have her mom help raise Kinsley.  That's when Worsham said they got the grim news.

"A week ago Friday, the officers came to our home and knocked on our door looking for Abby," he said, choking back tears.

Knapp's body was flown in by jet Monday morning to Kansas City.  Abby looked on holding baby Kinsley tight.  But family say, Kinsley will grow up knowing her father through others.

"We're having people write notes to Kinsley, his daughter. 'If you knew my dad, please tell me what you knew about him,'" Tom Brassfield, Knapp's father-in-law said at the visitation.

The visitation was full of encouragement for the family.  Brassfield said he has been blown away by how generous and caring the community has been.

But the biggest sense of encouragement according to Worsham, comes from the smallest member of the family: baby Kinsley.

"She's such a gift to the whole family. She's like the comforter to this whole family," he said.

The family is having a celebration of life for Knapp at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Legacy Christian Church.  Also Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Knapp.

Follow me on Facebook: facebook.com/GiaVangFox4

email: gia.vang@wdaftv4.com

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