Sunday, February 27, 2011

Army Sgt. Kristopher J. Gould

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Kristopher J. Gould, 25, of Saginaw, Mich.

Sgt Gould was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.; died Feb. 27, 2011 in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

SAGINAW, Mich. — A 25-year-old infantryman from Michigan was on his third combat deployment when he was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army said Tuesday.

Sgt. Kristopher J. Gould died Sunday from wounds he sustained when insurgents attacked his unit in Ghazni province, the Defense Department said in a news release.

"This was a job we knew he enjoyed," his mother, Ann Gould of Bay County's Frankenlust Township, told The Bay City Times. "He was proud to do it, and he was good at it."

Gould was a graduate of Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw County's Saginaw Township. Gould's pastor described him as sports-minded and devout. The soldier particularly liked dirt biking.

"He was a faithful member," said the Rev. Charles Buckhahn of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Saginaw. "He was very proud of his military service, as was the rest of his family and the congregation. ... He was a very personable guy, always was on the lookout for other members of Bethlehem in the military. He was always trying to connect and keep up with them."

Gould was part of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Knox, Ky.

He enlisted in 2003 and served 15 months in Iraq in 2005-06, followed by 12 months in Afghanistan in 2008-09, Fort Knox said in a statement.

Ford spokesman Ryan Brus said Gould's current deployment started in January.

Buckhahn said his own daughter was in Gould's grade in school.

"We have a lot of members who are in the military," said the minister, who son serves in the Marines. "This hits home for a lot of the families here who are in the same boat as the Goulds were."

A memorial service was planned in Afghanistan on Wednesday, with funeral plans still pending.

His awards and decorations include:

Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Infantryman Badge
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal for Mobilization
Army Service Ribbon
Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart (posthumously)

FRANKENLUST TWP. — In his near daily e-mails home from Afghanistan, Sgt. Kristopher J. Gould liked to dream big.

The dreams, his mother Ann Gould said, changed often — starting with plans to fix up an old pickup he had at home and most recently focused on buying a new Ford Harley-Davidson pickup.

“He liked champagne on a beer budget,” his mom joked. “But that’s what kept him going, too. We just let him dream.”

Kristopher Gould, 25, of Frankenlust Township died Sunday after his unit was attacked by insurgents with an improvised explosive device in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan.

The 2004 Valley Lutheran graduate was on his third tour of duty in the Middle East. He most recently deployed in January as part of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Knox, Ky.

“It’s hard,” Ann Gould said of her son’s death. “This was a job we knew he enjoyed. He was proud to do it and he was good at it.”

Ann Gould was at work Monday when her husband, James Gould, called telling her she needed to come home. Military officers had just been to their Frankenlust Township home to deliver the news.

“My husband was here and he knew,” Ann Gould said. “When you see two military men come up to your back door, you know.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. Ann Gould said one of the hard parts has been waiting to hear when her son’s body will be returned to Michigan.

Ryan Brus, a spokesman for the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, said Kristopher Gould likely will be returned home in the next two weeks.

In the coming days, Kristopher Gould’s body will be flown to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., where it will be prepared and another ceremony likely will take place.

Then the body will be returned to Michigan through MBS International Airport in Freeland, Brus said.

Army Sgt. Kristopher J. Gould was killed in action on 2/27/11.

No comments: