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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Iowa Army National Guard Pfc. David M. Kirchhoff
Died August 14, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
31, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; assigned to the 2133rd Transportation Company, Army National Guard, Centerville, Iowa; died Aug. 14 in Landstuhl, Germany, of a non-hostile injury he received Aug. 8.
Iowa soldier dies in Iraq
DES MOINES, Iowa — A member of the Iowa Army National Guard from northeast Iowa died in Germany after suffering a heat stroke in Iraq, where temperatures had reached 125 to 130 degrees, Guard Spokesman Col. Robert King said.
Pfc. David Kirchhoff, 31, of Anamosa, Iowa, suffered the heat stroke Aug. 8 and slipped into a coma while he was being evacuated to a hospital in Germany. He had been kept on a life-support system.
Kirchhoff died Aug. 14 with his wife, Brooke, his brother and Brooke’s father at his side at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, King said.
Nancy Kirchhoff, of Cedar Rapids, a retired teacher, last talked to her son Aug. 2 during a three-way phone call with his wife.
Nancy Kirchhoff told her son that she and his father, Larry Kirchhoff, a Rockwell-Collins engineer who works out of the Eastern Iowa Airport, were planning a trip to Colorado.
“He (David) said, ‘I’m going to fire my travel agent — it’s way too hot where I am,”’ Nancy Kirchhoff said.
The Kirchhoffs said their son had a subtle sense of humor.
“He would lead you on for a while and then you’d realize,” Larry Kirchhoff said.
The Kirchhoffs were on Pike’s Peak in Colorado on Aug. 11 when they received a relative’s cellular phone message about their son’s illness.
“They didn’t give us any hope,” Nancy Kirchhoff said of her son’s prognosis.
The Kirchhoffs said with a two-day drive ahead of them, they agreed it was best for Brooke to fly to Germany with her father to say goodbye to her husband. The couple had married April 19.
David Kirchhoff was adopted by the Kirchhoffs at age 3; his biological brother, Michael Cecil of Louisville, Ky., also made the trip.
“Brooke wanted to go over there, and he did survive until she got there,” Nancy Kirchhoff said.
Brooke Kirchhoff was to return from Germany Friday, her in-laws said.
“He was a very brave young man serving his country and he died serving what he loved,” his father said. “His mother and I and our family are very proud of him.”
Kirchhoff was a truck driver with the Iowa Guard’s 2168th Transportation Company headquartered in Cedar Rapids. His platoon was mobilized on Feb. 24 and assigned to the 2133rd Transportation Company of Centerville and Muscatine. The unit has been in Iraq supporting the 4th Infantry Division.
He graduated from Metro High School in Cedar Rapids in June 1992. He enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard on April 22, 2002. He worked for Linn Star Transfer in Cedar Rapids.
Besides his wife, brother and parents, Kirchhoff is survived by two sons, 12 and 11, and two sisters.
Kirchhoff was the first member of the Iowa National Guard to die on active federal duty since the Vietnam War, King said.
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Funeral for Iowa guardsman on Thursday
ANAMOSA, Iowa — The funeral for a member of the Iowa Army National Guard who died after suffering heat stroke in Iraq will be held Aug. 21 in Cedar Rapids.
Pfc. David Kirchhoff, 31, of Anamosa, suffered the heat stroke on Aug. 9 in Iraq, where temperatures had reached 125 to 130 degrees. He slipped into a coma while being evacuated to hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. He died Aug. 14.
Services with military honors will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories. Burial will be at the Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.
Kirchhoff was a truck driver with the Iowa Guard’s 2168th Transportation Company headquartered in Cedar Rapids. His platoon was mobilized on Feb. 24 and assigned to the 2133rd Transportation Company of Centerville and Muscatine. The unit has been in Iraq supporting the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
Kirchhoff was born April 12, 1972, in Dubuque. He graduated from Metro High School in Cedar Rapids in 1992. He worked for Linn Star Transfer in Cedar Rapids.
Kirchhoff was the fifth Iowa soldier to die in Iraq and the first member of the Iowa National Guard to die on active federal duty since the Vietnam War.
Survivors include his wife, Brooke; two sons, David Michael Kirchhoff Jr., of Cedar Rapids and Sean Patrick Lekin of Boone, Iowa; three stepdaughters, Ashley RaeAnne, Aubrey Jo and April Rain, all of Anamosa; his parents, Larry and Nancy Kirchhoff, of Cedar Rapids; one brother, Shawn Cecil, of Louisville, Ky.; and a half brother, Michael Cecil, of Louisville, Ky.; two sisters, Dawn Kirchhoff, of Oelwein and Denise Kirchhoff, of Cedar Rapids; and several nieces, nephews and in-laws.
— Associated Press
Family buries soldier who died of heat stroke in Iraq
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Pfc. David M. Kirchhoff’s wife and sons described him Aug. 21 as a tender husband and father with a streak of playfulness that led to family water balloon fights and wrestling matches.
More than 450 people turned out at Cedar Memorial Chapel to mourn Kirchhoff, who died after suffering a heat stroke during military duty in Iraq.
Rev. Dan Clark-Bridge, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, said Kirchhoff deserved to be honored as a soldier willing to die for his country and a caring person.
He lived his life with joy and respect for others, the minister said.
“He deserves the honor every single one of us can give,” Clark-Bridge said during a brief, emotional service.
Kirchhoff, a member of the Iowa National Guard, was buried at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and Taps.
During the service, Clark-Bridge read letters written by Kirchhoff’s wife, Brooke, and his two sons, Sean, 12, and David Jr., 11.
David’s memories were of a father with an endless knack for mischief and fun. He recalled snowball and water balloon fights started by his father, last summer’s trip to a Des Moines amusement park and his father’s skill in knowing the trendiest of sneakers.
“He was always goofy,” Sean wrote.
Kirchhoff was the first Iowa guardsman to die on active federal duty since the Vietnam War era.
He suffered heat stroke Aug. 9 while driving a truck for the Iowa Guard’s 2133rd Transportation Company in northern Iraq, where daytime temperatures exceeded 125 degrees.
He slipped into a coma and was transported to a military hospital in Germany where he had been kept on life support. He died five days later, shortly after his wife of four months had flown overseas to be with him.
He enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard on April 22, 2002, and was deployed to Iraq in February. He worked as a truck driver for Linn Star Transfer in Cedar Rapids.
— Todd, Dvorak, Associated Press