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Army Staff Sgt. Charles A. Kiser

Died June 24, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


37, of Cleveland, Wis.; assigned to the 330th Military Police Detachment, Army Reserve, Sheboygan, Wis.; killed June 24 when an explosion occurred near his convoy in Mosul, Iraq.

Former Ohio resident killed in Iraq

By Terry Kinney

Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A U.S. soldier who was a champion high school sprinter while growing up in southwest Ohio has been killed in Iraq, his family said Thursday.

Army Staff Sgt. Charles Kiser, 37, was killed outside Mosul, his family said.

“We received word this afternoon,” said Kiser’s brother-in-law, Bill Grannen.

The Defense Department said a U.S. soldier was killed Thursday by a car bomb in Mosul but did not release the soldier’s name. Two other U.S. soldiers were killed and seven wounded Thursday when their patrol was ambushed in Baqubah.

Kiser was with the 330th Military Police Division, a reserve unit based in Sheboygan, Wis., and had been in Iraq since January, his family said.

“What we understand is, he was in a convoy of Humvees driving, and apparently a car bomb went off and some debris and shrapnel went through the windshield and struck him in the face and killed him,” said Grannen, acting as spokesman for the family.

Kiser’s five sisters and their families, and his mother, Glenda Kiser, all live in the Cincinnati area, Grannen said. Grannen is married to one of the sisters, Denise.

Kiser grew up in Amelia, about 15 miles east of Cincinnati, and was a sprinter and ran cross country at McNicholas High School. He was a member of the track team at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out after a year and joined the Navy, Grannen said.

After seven years of active duty and seven years in the Navy reserve, Kiser joined an Army reserve unit two years ago because it was near his home in Cleveland, Wis., Grannen said. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, a son and a daughter.

“One of the things all of his sisters and his mother say about their most recent contact with Chuck via the Internet is that Chuck really believed in the mission in Iraq,” Grannen said. “He loved his country.

“He loved the children in Iraq, who used to follow the soldiers around. He felt his mission was to see that they have a free place to grow up. He seemed committed to that.”

* * * * *

Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq mourned by family, friends

CLEVELAND, Wis. — Somber friends and relatives gathered in the driveway of Staff Sgt. Charles Kiser’s home to mourn his death in Iraq and support his wife and two children.

Many of the same people on hand Thursday had thrown Kiser a party in this village of 1,400 in December — to wish him well on his deployment as a member of the Army’s 330th Military Police Detachment, a reserve unit based in Sheboygan.

“It’s just hard right now thinking about stuff,” said Craig Melger, Kiser’s brother-in-law. “It’s just a shock.”

The house was adorned with U.S. flags and had a yellow ribbon tied around a tree in the yard.

Kiser’s wife, Deb, was too broken up to come outside, Melger said.

Kiser, 37, also left behind two children, Mark, 10, and Alicia, 13.

Before being deployed, he worked as a supervisor at GKN Sinter Metals, a Manitowoc firm that manufactures automotive parts, said Steve Holzwart, a family friend.

Kiser left for Iraq in February after training at Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin for more than a month.

“Let people know that he was a great guy,” Holzwart said. “You couldn’t ask for a better father. ...

“He died doing what he wanted to do. He thought the cause was just.”

Kiser’s brother-in-law in Cincinnati, Bill Grannen, said the family was told Thursday afternoon that Kiser was killed outside Mosul.

— Associated Press

* * * * *

Service honors Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — The funeral procession passed under a towering arch formed by two fire-truck extension ladders, as family and friends said goodbye Thursday to a local resident killed while serving in Iraq.

The procession of vehicles led from Cleveland, where Sgt. Charles Kiser lived with his family in southern Manitowoc County, to the Sheboygan National Guard Armory, where the funeral was held.

Kiser, 37, was serving with the Army’s 330th Military Police Detachment, a reserve unit based in Sheboygan, when a suicide bomber struck as he was on guard duty outside Mosul a week earlier.

Gov. Jim Doyle was among those attending the service for Kiser, who left behind his wife, Debbie, son Mark, 10, and daughter Alicia, 13.

Before being called to active duty, Kiser worked as a supervisor at a Manitowoc firm that makes auto parts.

He left for Iraq in February after training at Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin.

Kiser grew up in Amelia, Ohio, east of Cincinnati, and was a sprinter and ran cross-country at McNicholas High School. He later joined the Navy and spent seven years on active duty and seven years in the Navy reserve.

Relatives said he joined his Army reserve unit two years ago because it was near his home in Wisconsin.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral.

“It was very humbling to see all the people Chuck touched in their lives, and equally touching to see complete strangers showing complete appreciation to Chuck’s service and sacrifice,” said Bill Grannen, 45, of Cincinnati, Kiser’s brother-in-law.

— Associated Press

* * * * *

Ohio community celebrates life of soldier killed in Iraq

BATAVIA, Ohio — A community awaiting word on a hometown soldier kidnapped in Iraq gathered Monday night to honor a soldier who died in action.

Community leaders refused to call it a memorial service; rather, it was a celebration of the life of Army Sgt. Charles Kiser.

“We will be passing out red, white and blue lapel pins, but there will be no mourning or black ribbons,” Clermont County Commissioner Bob Proud said. “Sgt. Kiser gave the ultimate sacrifice for his friends, his country and people he didn’t even know. We are God and country in this county, and we support our troops and their families.”

Main Street in this southwest Ohio village already was decorated with yellow ribbons, American flags and red, white and blue bunting in honor of Army Spc. Keith “Matt” Maupin.

Across the street from the courthouse, signs in a storefront read: “Pray for Matt & all the troops” and “God Bless Chuck & the Kiser family.”

Kiser, 37, of Cleveland, Wis., was a native of nearby Amelia. He was killed June 24 when a car bomb hit his convoy of Humvees outside Mosul.

The fate of Maupin, listed as captured April 9 when his convoy was attacked west of Baghdad, remains uncertain. The Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera reported June 28 that a man being shot in the head in a dark, grainy video by Iraqi insurgents was Maupin, but Department of Defense officials say they can’t be sure.

Proud said Kiser’s family, who planned to take part in the celebration, didn’t want any signs of mourning in the event that was to include patriotic songs and remarks by the Kiser family and Maupin’s mother.

“We are a family in Clermont County, and when something happens to a family member we rally around them,” Proud said.

The Maupin family attended church with the Kisers the Sunday after Kiser’s death was reported, and the mothers of both soldiers have talked several times.

“They bonded immediately as mothers of soldiers,” Army Maj. Mark Magalski said last week.

Glenda Kiser and her five daughters and their families live in the Cincinnati area. Several of Kiser’s nieces and nephews were to release balloons with messages to their uncle Monday night.

Kiser, whose funeral service was held last Thursday in Wisconsin, also is survived by his wife, Debbie, and two children.

He was a champion sprinter in high school and was on the University of Cincinnati track team before joining the Navy, where he spent seven years on active duty and seven years in the Navy reserve. He joined the Army reserve two years ago and had been in Iraq since January.

— Associated Press

 

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