Eric J Poelman

As a young boy, Eric Poelman used to play a game with his brothers where they tried to hit each other with apples. He excelled. “He was a marksman when he was 11,” said his brother, Greg. Poelman, 21, of Racine, Wis., was killed June 5 when a bomb exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad. He was based at Fort Carson. Poelman, who enjoyed football and paintball, smiled all the time, but his brother said the family never saw him happier than when he married Renate Klema. “He was with his true love, his only love,” Andy Poelman said. Poelman was home-schooled in high school and joined the Army to serve his country and get more experience operating big equipment like bulldozers and cranes. It was his second tour of duty in Iraq. He always told his brothers to finish strong in sports and in life. “Eric, I’m so proud of you because you finished strong,” Andy Poelman said.

RACINE – Spc. Eric Poelman, 21, was killed in action in Iraq on Sunday, June 5, 2005.

Eric Poelman was born in Janesville to Matt and Sally (nee: Entz) Poelman on April 6, 1984, and had lived in Racine since 1989. In Racine, he was united in marriage to Renate Klema on May 1, 2004.

Spc. Eric Poelman served in the United States Army 3rd Armored Division. He was a member of Racine Assembly of God Church.

Eric is survived by his wife, Renate of Racine; his father and mother, Matt and Sally Poelman of Longview, Texas; two brothers, Andy Poelman of Milwaukee and Greg Poelman of Longview, Texas; two grandmothers, Alice Poelman of Chicago, Ill. and Beverly Entz of Indian Trail, N.C.; his father-in-law, Greg Klema of Racine; his mother-in-law and step-father-in-law, LuAnn Klema-Hillestad and Bob Hillestad of Appleton; and one brother-in-law, Griffin Klema of Madison.

Memorial services for Eric will be held at Racine Assembly of God Church, 1325 Airline Road, on Thursday evening, June 9, 2005, at 7 p.m. with Rev. Ronald Held officiating. Public visitation will be at the church from 4 p.m. until service time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust: 859-441-7300 www.dav.org EIN# 52-1521276.


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Age: 21
Incident Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Branch: Army
Rank: Spc.
Unit: 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment
Units Base: Fort Carson, Colorado