Friday, August 31, 2007

Army Sgt. Kevin A. Gilbertson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Kevin A. Gilbertson, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Sgt. Gilbertson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany; died Aug. 31, 2007 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations Aug. 29, 2007 in Ramadi, Iraq.

Cedar Rapids soldier dies during second stint in Iraq

By Nigel Duara
Des Moines Register

Cedar Rapids native Sgt. Kevin Allan Gilbertson died Aug. 31 in a hospital in Germany.

The soldier, known as an upbeat, rabble-rousing, ball of fire nicknamed Gilmoe, was shot in Ramadi, Iraq, last week and died two days later. He was on his second tour in the country, military officials said.

“He was always go-go-go,” said his former stepmother Diane Gilbertson, who married Gilbertson’s father when Kevin was 4 years old. “It hit me. It hit me hard.”

Kevin Gilbertson, 25, was a newly minted family man. His son was born 8 months ago to his wife. The couple lived in Scheweinfurt, Germany, where Gilbertson served with the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

“He joined the Army right out of high school to get a college education when he got out,” said Don Gilbertson, the soldier’s father. “His dream was getting a degree and supporting his family.

“He was the greatest kid in the world.”

A 2001 graduate of Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School, Kevin Gilbertson’s MySpace page told much of his story.

The postings ranged from expletive-laced tough-guy messages left by his buddies to pink-and-purple “Happy Easter” cards that prominently display bunny rabbits.

The soldier’s aunt, Amy Gilbertson of Austin, Texas, said that Kevin “was kind of like my little brother. He’s always been very proud. He loved his country. He really embraced being a soldier.”

Diane Gilbertson said Kevin made family a priority. He immediately befriended her twin sons, now 21 years old, and would visit her 12-year-old boy when he was on leave from Iraq. “He looks up to Kevin,” Gilbertson said. “He was a huge influence.”

Many posts on Kevin Gilbertson’s Web page related to his service or to his son. One, left on New Year’s Eve 2006, included a prayer for soldiers.

“Please God ... Grant them courage, when times seem bleak. Grant them strength, when they seem weak. Grant them comfort, when they feel all alone, and most of all, God, please bring them all home.”

Don Gilbertson said he will travel to Germany to retrieve his son’s body and return it to Iowa. Funeral arrangements are pending at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids.

Army Sgt. Kevin A. Gilbertson died on 8/31/07 due to combat injuries of 8/29/07.

1 comment:

brat said...

Rest in peace Sgt. Gilbertson. My prayers for all who love him...