- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Cpl. Andrew J. Kemple
Died February 12, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
23, of Cambridge, Minn.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Feb. 12 when his Humvee came under small-arms fire during combat operations in Tikrit, Iraq.
Slain Minn. soldier joined military after 9/11/01 attacks
CAMBRIDGE, Minn. - A soldier from Minnesota who decided to join the military after the 9-11 terrorist attacks was killed by small arms fire in Iraq, the Department of Defense announced.
Cpl. Andrew Kemple, 23, of Cambridge, who was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., died Sunday when his Humvee was attacked in Tikrit, the department said Wednesday. He is the 35th person with strong Minnesota ties to have died in connection with the war in Iraq.
Kemple wanted to join the Army after the attacks, but his mom was scared for him, and he agreed to think it over for awhile. When he enlisted in 2003, he had her support, his mother, Deirdre Ostlund, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
“(Enlisting) was a serious decision; we thought about it for a long time,” Ostlund said. “We supported him 100 percent because he felt so strongly about it.” Kemple was a 2001 graduate of Cambridge-Isanti High School. Principal Craig Paulson told the newspaper he couldn’t talk about Kemple and that the man’s family wanted to be the ones to share information with reporters.
Minn. soldier killed in Iraq believe in his mission
FOREST LAKE, Minn. — Cpl. Andrew Kemple, the Minnesota soldier killed last weekend in Iraq, believed in his mission there, his family said Thursday.
Kemple, 23, of Cambridge, died Sunday when his Humvee was attacked in the city of Tikrit. His mother, Deirdre Ostlund, said Kemple was a gunner on the vehicle and was shot in the neck.
“He believed he was bringing help and freedom and protection to other people, and so he did not die in vain,” Ostlund said at a family home here with Kemple’s sister, Andrea Kemple, at her side. “His death meant something, and he is a hero.” Kemple, who was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., is the 35th person with strong Minnesota ties to have died in connection with the war in Iraq.
The Army said Kemple enlisted in 2003 and was assigned to the division’s 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. There have been 123 soldiers from Fort Campbell killed in Iraq, including eight since the beginning of February. The sprawling Army post straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Family members described Kemple as the sensitive type, recalling that he was teased as a youngster for his red hair. They said he liked to have fun and loved his job in the military. Kemple graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School in 2001.
Andrea Kemple, of St. Louis Park, said her brother began talking about joining the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “He just felt so obligated to do something. Finally, he did enlist and he was the happiest - he was so happy about it. He was so excited,” she said.
About a year ago, Ostlund moved to Brazil, where she retired with her husband, Kemple’s stepfather, Richard Ostlund. She sent her son Brazilian chocolate, his favorite, and checked on him through e-mail and video messages via webcam.
She returned to Minnesota Jan. 12 to visit family members and friends, and her son was scheduled to come for a visit in either June or July.
Ostlund said her son was wearing a helmet and body armor when he was hit by small arms fire while his unit was looking for weapons. He received the aid of a minister after he was wounded, “so we know he did not die alone. He did not die without comfort,” she said.
Besides his mother, sister and stepfather, Kemple is survived by his father, John Kemple, of Motley. The family planned to bury Kemple in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.