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Army Sgt. Louis A. Griese

Died October 31, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

30, of Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Oct. 31 in Tikrit, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Family says Sturgeon Bay H.S. grad killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

STURGEON BAY, Wis. — A Sturgeon Bay high school graduate who joined the Army 12 years ago has been killed in Iraq, his mother said Oct. 31.

Susan Frihart said the family was informed that her son, Louis Griese, 30, was killed by a roadside bomb while on his third tour of duty in Iraq with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. The Department of Defense had not released information on him as of Oct. 31.

Griese was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., where he lived with his wife Stephanie and baby daughter Skylar, Frihart said.

The birth of his daughter made it difficult for him to leave for this tour a few months ago, only a month or so after she was born, Frihart said.

“He didn’t really want to go this time,” she said. “He didn’t want to leave that newborn baby, but he left because that was his duty.”

He also had served in Hawaii and Korea in an Army career that started when he signed up only months after leaving high school, his mother said. She said he wanted to be like his father, the late John Griese, who served in the Army.

“He loved the service. He was very proud to be a soldier,” she said. “That was going to be his life.”

She recalled that when he signed up for military service she had one piece of advice — “Just remember: Mom didn’t raise a quitter.”

Frihart said she last saw her son when he was between tours last fall, and she just missed talking with him a few weeks ago.

“He had called. I missed him by maybe 10 minutes.”

There have been 80 military personnel from Wisconsin killed in the Iraq war.

Pentagon confirms Wisconsin native’s death in Iraq

The Associated Press

STURGEON BAY, Wis. — A Sturgeon Bay soldier killed during his third tour in Iraq was a brand-new father who loved working on cars, professional wrestling and watching the “Halloween” movie series.

Sgt. Louis A. Griese, 30, died Oct. 31 in Tikrit of wounds suffered when a homemade bomb blew up near his vehicle north of Samarra, the Department of Defense said.

Griese was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, out of Fort Campbell, Ky. He is the 80th Wisconsin soldier killed in the Iraq war.

Doug Roatch said Griese was a good friend of his in high school. He loved to work on cars, Roatch said.

“He liked to mess around with cars, fix ‘em, tweak ‘em, put in stereo gear,” he said.

Griese’s mother, Susan Frihart of Sturgeon Bay, said he joined the Army soon after graduation from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1996.

He and his wife, Stephanie, and their 4-month-old daughter, Skylar, lived near the 101st home base at Fort Campbell.

His mother said Griese left for his third tour in Iraq shortly after his daughter’s birth, making it difficult for him to go, “but he left because that was his duty.”

“He’d do anything for soldiers, for his buddies, and when it came time to be a solider, he was a very strong soldier,” his wife said in a telephone interview.

Stephanie Griese said she met her husband of nearly six years online. Skylar was born July 7 and Griese shipped out Sept. 20, she said.

He was extremely worried about this stint in Iraq because he wasn’t familiar with the area, she said.

“He was really scared of going this time. We both felt very uneasy,” she said. “He wasn’t even gone two months.”

Griese loved to watch World Wrestling Entertainment and was a “big movie guy,” she said. His favorite was the “Halloween” slasher series.

“He died on Halloween, ironically,” Stephanie Griese said.

Most of all, he loved the daughter who will never know him. Stephanie Griese said that’s what she’ll tell Skylar, when she’s old enough.

“He loved his daughter to no end,” she said. “How much he loved her ...”

Her voice quaking, she said she couldn’t answer any more questions.

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