Charles Kiser loved his family deeply, and also believed strongly in the U.S. efforts in Iraq.
“One of the things all of his sisters and his mother say about their most recent contact with Chuck via the Internet is that Chuck really believed in the mission in Iraq,” said Bill Grannen, his brother-in-law in Cincinnati.
“He loved the children in Iraq, who used to follow the soldiers around. He felt his mission was to see that they have a free place to grow up. He seemed committed to that.”
Kiser, 37, of Cleveland, Wis., died June 24 in an explosion outside Mosul, Iraq.
Before being deployed, he worked as a supervisor at GKN Sinter Metals, which manufactures automotive parts.
“Let people know that he was a great guy,” said Steve Holzwart, a family friend. “You couldn”t ask for a better father.
Survivors include his wife, Deb, and children Mark, 10, and Alicia, 13.
Kiser grew up in Amelia, Ohio, east of Cincinnati, and was a sprinter and ran cross country in high school. He was a member of the track team at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out after a year and joined the Navy, Grannen said.
After seven years of active duty and seven years in the Navy Reserve, Kiser joined the Army reserve unit two years ago because it was near his home in Wisconsin, Grannen said.
A U.S. soldier who was a champion high school sprinter while growing up in southwest Ohio has been killed in Iraq, his family said Thursday.
Army Staff Sgt. Charles Kiser, 37, was killed outside Mosul, his family said.
â€œWe received word this afternoon,â€ said Kiserâ€™s brother-in-law, Bill Grannen.
The Defense Department said a U.S. soldier was killed Thursday by a car bomb in Mosul but did not release the soldierâ€™s name. Two other U.S. soldiers were killed and seven wounded Thursday when their patrol was ambushed in Baqubah.
Kiser was with the 330th Military Police Division, a reserve unit based in Sheboygan, Wis., and had been in Iraq since January, his family said.
â€œWhat we understand is, he was in a convoy of Humvees driving, and apparently a car bomb went off and some debris and shrapnel went through the windshield and struck him in the face and killed him,â€ said Grannen, acting as spokesman for the family.
Kiserâ€™s five sisters and their families, and his mother, Glenda Kiser, all live in the Cincinnati area, Grannen said. Grannen is married to one of the sisters, Denise.
Kiser grew up in Amelia, about 15 miles east of Cincinnati, and was a sprinter and ran cross country at McNicholas High School. He was a member of the track team at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out after a year and joined the Navy, Grannen said.
After seven years of active duty and seven years in the Navy reserve, Kiser joined an Army reserve unit two years ago because it was near his home in Cleveland, Wis., Grannen said. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, a son and a daughter.
â€œOne of the things all of his sisters and his mother say about their most recent contact with Chuck via the Internet is that Chuck really believed in the mission in Iraq,â€ Grannen said. â€œHe loved his country.
â€œHe loved the children in Iraq, who used to follow the soldiers around. He felt his mission was to see that they have a free place to grow up. He seemed committed to that.â€
BATAVIA – Monday night, in front of the courthouse in the county where he was raised, the people who knew him best and hundreds more who never met him honored Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Kiser as a father, a son, a brother and a soldier.
“Chuck loved this country with all his heart,” said Bill Grannen, brother-in-law of the 37-year-old Army reservist who was killed in Iraq on June 24. “It is a cliche to say that ‘freedom isn’t free,’ but that is just what Chuck believed.”Â
Kiser, who grew up in Amelia, was buried last week in Wisconsin, where he lived with his wife, Deb, and their children, 13-year-old Alicia and 10-year-old Mark.
Kiser died while on security duty at a compound near Baghdad when a truck burst through the gates. Kiser and other soldiers were able to shoot the driver, but the truck swerved, hit an obstacle and exploded. Kiser was killed in the blast; and his superior officers credited his action with saving the lives of other soldiers.
Monday night, on Batavia’s Main Street in front of the Clermont County Courthouse, nearly 1,000 people gathered for what county Commissioner Bob Proud called a “celebration” of the life of a soldier who was one of the county’s own.
In front of the courthouse steps, on folding chairs, sat the Kiser family – his mother, Glenda; his five sisters; his brothers-in-law; and nearly 20 nephews and nieces.
Next to the fallen soldier’s mother sat another Clermont County woman who understands something of her pain – Carolyn Maupin, the mother of Spc. Matt Maupin, the 20-year-old ArmyÂ reservist from Union Township who was taken hostage in Iraq April 9 and whose fate is unknown.
Major Mark Magalski, the Army’s casualty assistance officer who was assigned to help the Maupin family and who has come to know the Kisers as well, told the crowd that the two women have “a bond between them that none of us can fully understand.”
Magalski said that the two women met two weeks ago, when Glenda Kiser invited Carolyn and Keith Maupin, the soldier’s father, to Mass at St. Bernadette Church in Amelia. They held each other throughout the service.
“Not one word needed to be said between them,” Magalski said.
Carolyn Maupin spoke briefly Monday night.
“Thank you, Staff Sgt. Kiser, for making the ultimate sacrifice,” Mrs. Maupin said. “His life should be an example that shows us freedom is not free.”
The family of . Kiser, who was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously, paid tribute to the Maupins as well.
The Maupin family, Grannen said, “are truly amazing people. Here they are in the middle of this terrible situation of their own, and they keep calling Glenda nearly every day to see how she is doing. They are a wonderful family.”
U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, a Terrace Park Republican, and U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, spoke as well.
Portman said that when he called Glenda Kiser after learning of her son’s death in Iraq, she “asked me for but one thing – to make sure that her son’s death was not in vain, that we finish the job in Iraq.”
Monday night’s event was the public acknowledgement of the Kiser family’s sacrifice. On Wednesday, the family will have a 7 p.m. Mass at St. Bernadette Church in Amelia, with visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. in a building adjacent to the church.
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