Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Memoriam

Chris's stepdad works as a dispatcher for one of my best friends. I used to work with his mother at Gibson's. Story from here:

Soldier's life changed after 9/11, family says

DODGE CITY - When he headed for Iraq at the end of September after being home on leave, Christopher Kruse told his mother not to worry. He'd be OK.

"But I worried about this," Linda Hensley said. "When they're so far away and you know they're in danger and you won't be able to help them out of it ..."

Kruse, 23, was killed on Nov. 13 in Mukhisa, Iraq, when a roadside explosive device detonated during combat operations.

Tomorrow, Hensley and her family will wait for the plane that brings Sgt. Christopher Ryan Kruse home to Dodge City for a final time.

A funeral service will be Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church. He will be buried at the Ford Cemetery with full military rites.

Her son was "a good caring person who went out of his way to help others," Hensley said.

Their good-byes at the end of his leave time were sad, she said, with her voice breaking in grief.

She recounted that her son learned to read in first grade, his teacher made school exciting with things like spelling bees. From then on, he did well academically.

"He was a good reader, he could read something and remember it, like statistics it was one of those memories that could store up anything," she said.

In high school Kruse enrolled in woodworking, welding and automotive classes, liked working with his hands.

Lee Bogner, a high school classmate in the Dodge City High School Class of 2002, recalled that he and Kruse built a gas-powered scooter from scrap parts. Kruse was enrolled in an automotive course at Dodge City Community College at the time.

One of their friends tested the machine on the U. S. 50 bypass and it kept up with the traffic that was moving at 45 mph.

"It worked really good," Bogner said. "Chris was talented, came up with a lot of ideas."

Another classmate, Brian Seacat, played basketball with Kruse during their freshman and sophomore years.

"He was a genuine all-around good guy, friendly, great personality, always happy," Seacat said.

When 9/11 happened her son changed, Hensley said.

"He joined the Army, didn't want them to come over here and hurt anyone," she said.

" 'Keep them busy on their territory and they'll stay away from ours,' " he told his mother.

Kruse's wife, Courtney, his 11-month old son, Christian Kruse, and his stepson, Josh Murphy-Ryder were scheduled to arrive in Dodge City on Sunday form Kent, Wash. The couple met while he was stationed in Washington.

Brave, shy, quiet and sweet, describe her son best, Hensley said.

"God will take care of him now," she said. "And his grandmothers are up there to watch over him."

Godspeed, Chris, and thanks for your service.


Sezme said...

How very sad. I am thankful for his willingness to serve and give his life for our country.

Bob's Blog said...

" 'Keep them busy on their territory and they'll stay away from ours,' " he told his mother.

We can only hope he was right. Thanks for posting this story about one of our true heroes.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.