BUFFALO, NY, USA
SGT, B BATTERY, 2D BN / 3D FIELD ARTILLERY (1ST AD), APO AE 09169 (GIESSEN, GE)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 04/06/2004
David M. McKeever joined the military straight out of high school and met his wife while he was stationed at Fort Carson in 2002. Two months later, the couple were married. Three months after that, they went to Germany. Their son Dylan was born in February 2003, and McKeever went to Iraq in May.
Sergeant McKeever, 25, of Buffalo, N.Y., was killed April 5 when his unit was ambushed while guarding a hospital in Baghdad. He just been promoted from specialist the week before, and was set to leave Iraq 15 days later.
“He was counting down the days,” said his wife, Niki McKeever.
She said she will remember her husband as a fun-loving person who would do anything for her. The last time she saw him, he was preparing to get on a plane to return to Iraq, and he cried, she said.
“David doesn’t cry,” she said. “I knew he didn’t want to go back. He was afraid to go back. He didn’t want to leave his son.”
Sergeant David McKeever had just 15 days left in Iraq when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle and killed him, his brother said.
The 25-year-old had a new promotion, had just re-enlisted in the Army and, despite being on the front lines in a war zone, had been in high spirits as he neared a reunion with his wife and 1-year-old son in Nebraska and his parents and the rest of his family in Buffalo.
“He seemed like he was in high spirits and ready to come home,” Thomas McKeever said. The family got the news March 6.
“The soldiers came to my mother’s house and they said he was attacked in an ambush in Baghdad” a day earlier, McKeever said. “His vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and he was alive when they went to the hospital, but he died when he got there.”
McKeever’s wife, Nicki, was told her husband was one of eight people in the vehicle and the only one to die.
The son of Carol and David McKeever, a Vietnam veteran, McKeever had been promoted a week before he died from the rank of specialist to sergeant and had recently re-enlisted. But it was spending time with his family, especially 1-year-old Dylan, that he really looked forward to, his younger brother said.
“He wanted to spend time with his kid … He was definitely a good father,” he said.