Thursday, July 05, 2007

Army Sgt. Keith A. Kline

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Keith A. Kline, 24, of Oak Harbor, Ohio

Sgt. Kline was assigned to 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 5, 2007 when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Baghdad. Also killed was Army Maj. James M. Ahearn.

Northwest Ohio soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — A soldier from northwest Ohio was killed in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an explosive device, his aunt said July 6.

Army Sgt. Keith Kline, 24, of Oak Harbor, died July 5 after the convoy he was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb, said Kline’s aunt, Paulette Lipstraw. Military officials notified Kline’s parents later that day.

Kline graduated in 2002 from Oak Harbor High School, about 20 miles east of Toledo. He joined the Army shortly after graduation and re-enlisted for another 5-year stint after his initial 3-year term expired.

“That was just what he knew he wanted to do, and I had said to him, ‘Keith, people get killed in war,’ and he said, ‘At least if I die this way I will die serving my country and protecting my country,’ ” Lipstraw said.

“He completely and totally believed in what he was doing,” she said.

Kline worked in communications as a member of the 82nd Airborne based at Fort Bragg, N.C. He was on his first deployment to Iraq. He had previously served overseas in Kuwait and Africa.

Lipstraw remembered her nephew’s pride when he came back from a large deficit to place sixth at the state wrestling meet in 2002.

“He just never gave up,” she said. “He had a heart of gold. He was the kind of person that always gave and never expected anything back.”

Army Sgt. Keith A. Kline was killed in action on 7/5/07.

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