Died May 22 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit.
Staff Sgt. David C. Kuehl was serving his third tour of duty overseas.
“We prayed this day would never come,” the statement said. “Unfortunately we were notified Tuesday that David lost his life in combat while bravely serving his country with the United States Army in Iraq.”
Kuehl was “a wonderful son, husband, father, brother and uncle and will be dearly missed,” the statement said.
Kuehl is a 1999 graduate of Wahpeton High School. His wife, Amy, two children and his parents live in Wahpeton.
Wendy Kuehl, David’s sister, described her brother as a “very loving” person who took pride in his family and his military service. She said the two of them “fought like siblings, but he was a good brother in the end.”
He also loved his pickup truck.
“He was so proud of his truck,” Amy said. “Everyday he called me from Iraq, that was the first question he asked, how his truck was. And his kids.”
Maj. Gen. Timothy McHale said Kuehl’s fellow soldiers described him as a calm, confident, positive and upbeat person. He said one of Kuehl’s favorite sayings was, “I’ve got to take care of the boys.”
During a cold night on one training mission, McHale said, Kuehl wrapped himself around a fellow soldier to keep him warm. The soldier “didn’t like that much at first,” McHale said, drawing laughs, but he said it showed what Kuehl would do to help his squad.
Kuehl liked fishing and Copenhagen chewing tobacco, McHale said, eliciting more chuckles from the audience.
Compiled from Associated Press reports. Retrieved 10/01/2013 from "Honor the Fallen", http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor/