OAK HARBOR, OH, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY B, 96TH CIVIL AFFAIRS BATTALION, FORT BRAGG, NC BAGHDAD, IRAQ 07/05/2007
Sergeant Keith Allen “Rabbit” Kline, 24, of Oak Harbor, OH, died Thursday, July 5, 2007, from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device attack while conducting a patrol during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. Sergeant Kline was a communications systems support specialist with the U.S. Army assigned to the Bravo Company, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) based in Fort Bragg, NC. He was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of a Civil Affairs Team supporting the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
Sergeant Kline had re-enlisted in the military after completing his first three year commitment, and this was his first tour of duty in Iraq, where he had been for about three months.
Sergeant Kline was born on June 11, 1983, and raised in Oak Harbor, OH. Sergeant Kline graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2002. He was a member of the wrestling team in which his senior year the Rockets wrestling team was the Division II district champions and Sergeant Kline placed sixth in the state wrestling tournament. He also played football, soccer, participated in school plays, and was a Senior homecoming attendant his Senior year.
After entering military service in 2002, he received his basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. He completed his Advanced Individual Training as a communication systems support specialist at Fort Gordon, GA, and was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 96 CA Bn (Airborne). Sergeant Kline’s military education also includes the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, GA.
His awards and decorations include four Army Achievement Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Basic Parachutist Badge.
Sergeant Kline enjoyed NASCAR racing and the 4th of July was his favorite holiday and he loved family get togethers. He was known as a good hearted person that was full of life, and a very hard worker.
Sergeant Kline was posthumously awarded The Purple Heart, The Bronze Star Medal, and The Combat Action Badge.
Survivors include his mother, Betty J. (Ron Dubbert) Kline of Oak Harbor; step father, Allen Lipstraw of Rocky Ridge; brother, John A. Kline of Maine; maternal grandmother, Betty Miller of Fremont; maternal grandfather, Edward Miller of Clyde; step grandparents, Shirley and Richard Lipstraw of Graytown; aunts, Cheri Miller of Clyde, Sergeant Diana (Jonathon) Walker USAF Brooks AFB San Antonio, Texas, and Angie Alvarado of Genoa; uncle, Ed Miller of Bellevue, and many other aunts, uncles, and cousins