Thursday, September 16, 2010

Army Sgt. Aaron K. Kramer

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Aaron K. Kramer, 22, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sgt. Kramer was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Sept. 16, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

Brother says goodbye to his ‘best friend’
The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A 22-year-old soldier from Utah who was killed in Afghanistan is being remembered as a selfless patriot who was proud to fight for his country.

More than 100 friends and family members gathered at an LDS Church chapel in Salt Lake City on Sept. 25 to bid farewell to Sgt. Aaron Kramer.

Kramer was shot Sept. 16 in a firefight with the Taliban. He was a member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

His family says he decided when he was 13 he wanted to join the Army, after witnessing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

His twin brother, Brandon, said he wished everyone knew his brother the way he did. “Not everyone is born with their best friend,” he said.

A Utah man serving with the Army's 101st Airborne Division was killed during a firefight in Afghanistan [September 16th] according to members of his family.
Sgt. Aaron Kramer, 22, was wounded during a gunfight Thursday morning and was being evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Kabul when he died from his wounds, the family said.

His twin brother, Brandon, also a ranger-qualified airborne infantryman, recently returned from a tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division and flew with his parents to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to accompany his brother's body home.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 convinced both of the Kramer brothers to serve their country in the military, said their older sister, Jennifer Schroader. Aaron Kramer was 13 at the time.

"Aaron went in first and passed his Ranger school tests the first time," she said. "Brandon also passed the first time. It's a hard thing to do, but almost unheard of for brothers to go through and pass the first time."

Aaron Kramer had already served a tour in Iraq and was married this spring just before he shipped out for Afghanistan. His wife, Jackie, lives in Wisconsin.

The street leading to the cul-de-sac where the Kramer family lives was lined Friday with 106 American flags, placed by the Boy Scouts to honor Aaron. Another 20 flags lined the front of the house, and a flagpole in the yard had its banner at half-staff.

"He wasn't just Aaron — he was 'Aaron and Brandon,' because until they joined the Army, they were always together. It was just one name — Aaron and Brandon," said the men's aunt Sharlene Elmer. She said it was unusual to see the boys wearing anything besides Army fatigues when they were younger. "It wasn't until they got out of basic training that they came home and said, 'I need some normal clothes to wear.' "

Aaron Kramer's parents, Shannon and Richard Kramer, are expected to return home from Delaware this evening. The family has not yet received official word of when their son's body will arrive in Utah.

Schroader, who lives with her husband and two sons in Las Vegas, greeted a steady stream of family and neighbors at her parents' house Friday. "I'm so thankful my phone has been ringing nonstop," she said. "I want people to know what an amazing brother he was, what an amazing husband, what an amazing uncle he was to my two boys."

Kramer's father is an Army veteran, and his maternal grandfather was a navigator on a B-29 during World War II. Aaron Kramer and Brandon Kramer started training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps in high school. "Once service to their country was planted in their hearts, there was just no turning back," Elmer said. "They're both so tender-hearted; it made it harder for us to picture them in the Army."

Army Sgt. Aaron K. Kramer was killed in action on 9/16/10.

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