Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Marine Cpl. David Kenneth J. Kreuter

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. David Kenneth J. Kreuter, 26, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cpl Kreuter died when his amphibious Assault Vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations south of Haditha, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Force Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

To be a Marine, a husband and a father.

Those were the three things David Kreuter wanted out of life. However briefly, he achieved his goals before being killed with 13 other Marines Wednesday by a roadside bomb.

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 2004, Kreuter, 26, started a career with the Marines.

He married his sweetheart, Chrystina, and 7 weeks ago they had a son named Christian. Kreuter saw his son in pictures but never got to cradle him, said his mother, Pat Murray.

"My son was basically a newlywed," Murray said on Thursday. "He was excited about being married and excited about Christian."

Kreuter assured her in a phone call on June 23 that the Marines were making a difference in Iraq and that most Iraqis were glad they were there.

Kreuter was one of two graduates of St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati killed in Wednesday's attack. The all-boys Jesuit school with ties to Cleveland's St. Ignatius also lost graduate Michael Cifuentes.

"It's like a double punch," St. Xavier spokesman Mark Motz said.

The Rev. Walter Deye, president of St. Xavier, said Kreuter, a 1997 graduate, embodied the traditions and motto of the school: "Men to Serve Others."

The fact that Kreuter never held his son weighed hard on those at the school.

"That's the kind of sacrifice we're talking about here," Deye said.

Kreuter, a graduate of St. Xavier High School and the University of Cincinnati, had been in Iraq since March. His son, Christian, was born in June. Kreuter and his wife, Chrystina, married last fall, News 5's Brian Hamrick reported.

"He was going to be a really good husband and a good father," said Pat Murray, Kreuter's mother. "I feel really badly that his wife got to know him (for) such a short time period (and) that his son will never know him. That bothers me a lot."

Kreuter majored in criminal justice at UC, but he wanted to make the Marine Corps his career and planned to go to Officers' Training School, his family said.

Relatives said Kreuter liked every part of being a Marine -- from the uniform to working the most dangerous missions in the most dangerous part of the world.

"He wanted to be the best. He wanted to do the hardest thing possible," Kreuter's father, Ken, said. "(As) near as we can tell, he was involved in just about every major mission or event over there."

Kreuter's mother said she woke up Wednesday knowing something was wrong. When she learned Marines had been killed in Iraq, she said she knew instantly.

"They told me it was a soldier in this area and I knew. I knew right then," Murray said.

Kreuter also left behind two sisters who were so inspired by his running ability, that they also took up the sport, News 5 reported.

"He brightened a room when he came in and it's that kind of spirit you can't replace," Kreuter's father said.

Kreuter died along with four other local Marines, Lance Cpl. Michael Joseph Cifuentes, Lance Cpl. Christopher Dyer, Lance Cpl. Brett Wightman and Lance Cpl. Timothy Michael Bell Jr.

The five were members of Lima Company, based in Columbus, and the Cleveland-based battalion involved in the single deadliest roadside bombing of U.S. troops in Iraq.

St. Xavier officials said Kreuter and Cifuentes, also a St. Xavier graduate, were men of service to others and they incorporated the vision of the school into their lives in that way.

"(They were) so young, so promising, so full of life. This is real," said the Rev. William Deye, president of St. Xavier High School.

Marine Cpl. David Kenneth J. Kreuter was killed in action on 08/03/05.


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