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Army Pvt. 2 Robert L. McKinley

Died July 8, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Kokomo, Ind.; assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died of non-combat-related causes July 8 in Homberg, Germany.

Indiana soldier who died of heat stroke in Iraq honored at funeral

Associated Press

PERU, Ind. — Relatives, friends and fellow military members honored an Army private who died of apparent heat stroke he suffered while Iraq.

Robert L. McKinley received the Bronze Star and a 21-gun salute during his July 16 funeral in his hometown.

McKinley’s grandfather, Robert Feller, had many memories to share of the 23-year-old he called his son.

“He wasn’t an angel but he wasn’t a bad boy,” Feller said. “He stumbled around for a couple years after got out of (high) school until he found the military. He was proud of the military and died serving his country.”

McKinley had only been in the Army for eight months and was a member of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The 1998 Peru High School graduate suffered heat stroke in Mosul, Iraq, in mid-June and died July 8 in Germany.

“When he joined the military he grew up in a very short time,” Feller said. “He told me, ‘If there’s anything I can do for our country to make it better, I want to do it.”’

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