RACINE, WI, USA
SPC, L TRP, 3D SQDN, 3D ARMORED CAV REG (TF BAGHDAD), FORT CARSON, CO
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 06/05/2005
“Thank the Lord we were able to talk with him on Saturday,” SPC Poelman’s father Matt said. “He had experienced the atrocities of war, just difficult things. We had pretty good confirmation from him that he was ready for the Lord and he knew where he was going if he were to pass on. That is some great comfort to his mother and I.”
Poelman married his “sweetheart of three years,” Renate Klema, on May 1, 2004, according to his father. She is living with her parents in Racine, WI.
Sally and Matt Poelman lived in Mount Pleasant, just outside Racine, before moving to Texas. Eric Poelman has two brothers, Andy, 23, and Greg, 17.
Poelman joined the Army in January 2003. He spent five months in Iraq in 2003 and was redeployed for another tour of duty in March after being based at Fort Carson, CO.
In Saturday’s call, Poelman reported he had a broken DVD player His parents had already bought one to replace it by Monday not realizing that their son was killed Sunday.” He was planning to come home in two weeks, at the end of June. We still got the DVD player laying here.”
After high school, Poelman became interested in operating heavy equipment. Poelman joined the Army in January 2003 to get more experience operating big equipment like bulldozers and cranes after being home schooled in high school. He joined the Army to bide some time until he turned 21 and hoped to find it easier to get such a job.” The military gave him a good option for driving tanks. So that became his pursuit in the military,” his father said. “While in Iraq, he had multiple roles. He could either be driving a Humvee or he would be driving a tank on missions.”
Mr. Poelman called his son a “rambunctious young man. He loved to do snowmobiling. He liked to work on cars. He had fixed up an old ’85 Buick Regal that turned out very nice.” Poelman planned to serve four years in the Army, then join the Army Reserve. “He wanted to work on cars, on vehicles and heavy equipment, and maybe open up his own garage, that type of thing,” he said.