WILMINGON, NC, USA U.S. Army SFC, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 120TH INFANTRY, WHITEVILLE, NC BAGHDAD, IRAQ 06/29/2009
Brothers in arms serve together every day. Unfortunately, they also die together. On June 29, 2009 in Baghdad, four Soldiers assigned to the 120th Combined Arms Battalion, North Carolina National Guard, died from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. It was the North Carolina National Guard’s largest single combat loss since World War II. Among those killed was Sergeant First Class Edward C. Kramer, 39, of Wilmington, N.C.
SFC Kramer served his community, his state, and his nation like few men do these days. He had first joined the military as a Marine to serve the nation. He was a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. After leaving the Marine Corps, he enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard in 1994 to serve his state. He returned to serving the nation when he deployed to Kuwait and Iraq from February 2004 to December 2004. In his civilian occupation he served his community as a firefighter, beginning his career at the Seagate Fire Department. He also worked with the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Fire Department. For nine years he worked for the Wilmington Fire Department before joining Sunny Point Fire Rescue. In April 2009 he returned to serving the nation when he deployed to Iraq for a second tour.
Ryan Young, who worked with Ed Kramer at the Wilmington Fire Department, said “He was one of those special people when he walked in a room, you felt like you knew him.” When they weren’t fighting fires, Young said, he and Kramer would head for the coast. “He really enjoyed the fish and having his feet in the sand.”
A statement issued by his family announced: “He was always there to help somebody if they needed it. Even when the person didn’t want help.”
“He loved us very much,” SFC Kramer’s wife, Vicki, said in the statement. “He did this for his children, so they wouldn’t have to.”
In addition to his wife, he is survived by their two children, Erica and Megan. After his funeral service at St. Mark Catholic Church in Wilmington, SFC Kramer’s body was laid to rest at Wilmington National Cemetery, Section 2, Site 2419. His family asked friends to send memorials in his name to Step Up for Soldiers, PO Box 2003, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.
The other Soldiers killed with SFC Kramer were:
Sergeant Roger L. Adams Jr., 36, of Jacksonville, N.C. Sergeant Juan C. Baldeosingh, 30, of Newport, N.C. Specialist Robert L. Bittiker, 39, of Jacksonville, N.C.