Thursday, July 29, 2010

Army Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren, 28, of Manchester, N.H.

SSgt. Warren was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 29, 2010 at Tsagay, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Capt. Jason E. Holbrook.

MANCHESTER – Kyle Warren was a mountain of man known for being as nice off the field as he was intimidating on it.

That's how several of his teammates and good friends from the Amoskeag Rugby Football Club of Manchester remember the 28-year-old who died Thursday in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren was one of two U.S. Special Forces soldiers who, according to the Defense Department, died after insurgents attacked their military vehicle with an improvised explosive device in Tsagay, Afghanistan.

He was one of a handful of members of the local rugby club who enlisted in the armed services around 2004.

Warren, a California native who moved to the area to be near his mother, was sharing a Central Street home in Manchester with brothers Justin and Josh Veverka when they all decided to enlist. Warren and Justin Veverka joined the Army; Josh Veverka signed up for the Navy. Their friend Ben Lacroix was already in the process of joining the Army.

All four ended up doing tours in Iraq.

While the others left the service after their commitments were met, Warren recently re-enlisted.

He had got married a year ago and, according to Josh Veverka, he and his wife agreed he would do one more tour.

Justin Veverka remembers hitting it off with Warren immediately after meeting him for the first time at rugby practice. Warren, nearly 6-foot-3 and close to 240 pounds at the time, join the club in 2002 and quickly established himself in the team's second row as a punishing force when the ball went in the air.

"He would slam whoever was unlucky enough to catch it," said Josh Veverka, now an engineering student at Louisiana State University.

Bob Bishop of Bedford, a former Amoskeag Rugby Club president, used to drive with Warren to practice when Warren was living at his mother's home in that town after first moving to the area.

"He was a great guy," Bishop said. "He fit in great. He was really well-liked and made a lot of good friends."

Bishop said Warren was an experienced player who grew up playing the game in California and, later, in college in Arizona.

"He was a big, strong guy," Bishop said. "And a really nice guy."

Warren met his future wife Sandy here. Sandy was going to school at Southern New Hampshire with Josh Veverka when she was first introduced to Warren in 2003.

"He was just a goofy, fun guy," Josh Veverka said. "He loved to yap."

Justin Veverka said he was not all that surprised when Warren decided to re-enlist. He said members of the Special Forces are an elite outfit treated well by the Army.

"They're the cream of the crop," Justin Veverka said.

Justin Veverka said he saw members of his unit die in Iraq, but the news of Warren's death hit hard.

"This was different," he said. "I couldn't believe it."

Army Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren was killed in action on 7/29/10.

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