EMPORIA, KS, USA U.S. Army SGT, HHC, 2D BATTALION, 23D INFANTRY, 4 BCT, FORT LEWIS, WA BALAD, IRAQ 11/13/2007
The first thing Courtney Kruse noticed about her future husband, Christopher R. Kruse, was the way he treated everyone around him with respect. He was an upstanding person, she said. He was so caring. He wanted to help, but he never wanted recognition for it.
He played on his high school basketball team and was an active hunter. When not playing the outdoorsman, he often had his head under the hood of a car.
While stationed at Fort Lewis, Kruse got a phone call from a friend and fellow soldier around 10 p.m. who had been in a wreck down in California and was afraid he wasn’t going to make it back in time for 4 a.m. drill.
Kruse immediately drove down, picked up his friend and drove back to Washington. The two pulled up to the base just in time to make it to drill.
He was always thinking about other people, said his wife. They always came before himself.
Sergeant Christopher Kruse of Emporia, Kansas graduated from Dodge City High School and attended Dodge City Community College. He joined the Army in 2004 and was assigned to Fort Lewis in April 2005. He completed Initial Entry Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, before reporting to Fort Lewis on April 15, 2005, where he was assigned to 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Kruse was assigned to the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment on Jan. 6, 2007.
His civilian and military education includes a high school diploma (2002), the Basic Infantry Qualification Course (2005), the Javelin Training Devices Course (2005), and the FBCB2 (Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below) Leader OPNET (Operator, New Equipment Training) Certification Course (2006).
His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Expert Infantryman Badge. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant from his previously-held rank of Specialist. He was preceded in death by his grandparents.
He was killed by an explosive device during combat operations at age 23.He also is survived by his son, Christian, and stepson, Josh Murphy-Ryder