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Butte native serves as honor guard at Jerusalem embassy opening

There are proud parents in Butte Tuesday after their Marine son played a prominent role in the opening of our country's new embassy in Jerusalem.

There are proud parents in Butte Tuesday after their Marine son played a prominent role in the opening of our country's new embassy in Jerusalem.

Born in Butte, 21-year-old Kenny Jense was known as a standout soccer player.

Now he is stationed in Tel Aviv as a Marine on embassy duty. According to his parents, Jense was handpicked out of hundreds Monday to be an honor guard.

"He was first on stage carrying the rifle and was able to meet numerous people," said his mother, Tammy Jense. "Our dignitaries, the president’s daughter -- he got to meet the Israel president. It's a huge deal. It's history in the making."

She said since he went overseas at 19, she and her husband, Gene, haven’t seen their son in person. After one year at Montana Tech, Kenny had other ideas for his future.

"He came home and said, 'That's not for me,'" Gene Jense said. "He said, 'This is what I want to do,' and of course both of us parents were going ‘Huh?’ We both were in shock for a while, and it was tough to take a deep breath on that one."

The Jenses told NBC Montana their son will see places they wouldn't see in their lifetime, like Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

"We see a bright future for him, and I think he sees it for himself," Gene Jense said.

Gene believes Kenny will re-enlist, but wherever he goes, both parents agree their son will bring a tough Butte mentality with him.

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