|Sgt. Tyler J. Kritz
United States Army
KIA 03 June 2007, Iraq
Eagle River soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
EAGLE RIVER, Wis. — A 21-year-old Army soldier from Eagle River deployed to Iraq for a second
time was killed there, authorities said June 6.
Sgt. Tyler Kritz died June 3 following a roadside bomb explosion, said Sgt. Glen George, a casualty
assistance officer with the Army Reserve Center in Wausau. Kritz was serving with a field artillery
unit out of Fort Lewis, Wash., George said.
Kritz enlisted in the Army following his 2003 graduation from Northland Pines High School and was
deployed to Iraq for a second time last June, authorities said.
Northland Pines had a moment of silence in honor of him June 6 before the final day of classes
began, teacher Jason Foster said.
“From day one, the first thing I remember about him is he was going to the military,” Foster
recalled. “That was his goal. He was going to go active duty and serve his country.”
Kritz is the 75th soldier or Marine from Wisconsin killed in Iraq or associated with duties in Iraq. As
of June 5, at least 3,494 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in
March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Catherine Caruso, a spokeswoman at Fort Lewis, declined comment until the U.S. Department of
Defense officially announced Kritz’s death and the details surrounding it.
His parents, Joseph and Doreen Kritz of Eagle River, did not immediately return a telephone
message from The Associated Press forwarded by the Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home in Eagle River.
Funeral arrangements for Kritz were pending, funeral director Joe Busha said.
Foster worked with Kritz in the Phoenix Center, the district’s alternative high school, during his
senior year. He described Kritz as an intelligent student who enrolled in the alternative program
because he got behind in some credits. He flew through the program.
“A lot of the time the kids who end up at the Phoenix Center are the students who are the round
pegs in the square holes,” Foster said. “He wasn’t real obnoxious like a lot of high school kids.”
Foster recalled Kritz wearing a military jacket and staying in close touch with recruiters.
“He was shy. He was friendly. He kind of kept to himself,” Foster recalled. “He was well-liked. When
he did talk, he had a sense of humor. I think his favorite subject was to be done with high school.
He was motivated to be done.”
Kritz played as a defensive back on the football team as a senior but wasn’t a starter, said Foster,
who helped coach the team that year.
He said Kritz looked forward to leaving Eagle River. “He wanted to be away at something different.
He tried this life and now he wanted to go see what else there was to see.”
Memorial page established by Marcia Cira
For my dear brother who lost his life 6-3-2007 a couple
weeks before his 22nd birthday. My brother fought and died for iraqi
freedom and he is a true hero. I miss you with all my heart and a piece
of it will never be replaced. i love you 'lil bro.
November 22, 2011
Thank you Tyler for serving our country so we and others can remain free. Your sacrifice
will not be forgotten. We are truly grateful for you and your heroic deeds. RIP, your battles
December 24, 2010
Thank you again, Tyler, for fighting in Iraq so all of us can remain free.I pray for you and the
other military personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice. You will be in my heart forever,
dear Grandson.The Christmas decoration (a small train engine) that you gave me when you
were six hangs on my tree every year.
Nov 25, 2008
You were one of my best friends. I trusted you like no one else, and have cried many nights
because I miss you dearly. I named my youngest son Joey (in honor of you). I have gone
through the words to say to you when we meet again, but they have yet to come together. I
have loved few friends, but you I loved. I couldn't have asked for a better friend than what
you were to me. I will never be able to forget you, though I knew you for such a short time.
We would stay up all night long on the weekends and just talk about the most random
things. I could never forget you, will forever miss you, and will always love you.
To my wonderful cousin,
You will always be in my heart, i think about you everyday and know
your in a better place, with papa smurf and my dad. Just don't let them
beat you to much at poker. Someday we will be together again, but for now,
i know your watching over us and all the other soldiers (Jake) in
Iraq. I love you with all my heart. I will see you again!!
Your cousin Leslie
Todd, Cindy, Andy, Mike & Mark Kruis
I There are no words to even thank you for the ultimate
sacrifice you have given. There are no words to take away the pain that
we feel. You are a true American Hero. We appreciate everything you
have done. We will forever hold you in our hearts and keep you in our
prayers. We think of you daily and wish that we could go back in time.
You will never be forgotten. Thank you for fighting for us so we may
Uncle Todd, Aunt Cindy, Andy, Mike and Mark Kruis