It’s difficult to imagine a more painful Father’s Day than the one endured by David and Marilyn Kreinz of Beloit. On a day when most dads enjoy the loving embrace of their children, David Kreinz learned that his oldest son had died the day before, some 7,000 miles away in Afghanistan.
Tyler Kreinz, a U.S. Army Specialist and tanker, died June 18 in a roll-over accident while serving with the Army’s 4th Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment of the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The circumstances of the accident were not known at press time.
Tyler enjoyed baseball, football, kickboxing and loved being outdoors, his father told WCLO Radio in Janesville. The young soldier, a 2008 graduate of Beloit Memorial High School, planned to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and eventually become a conservation warden.
Like many young people his age, Tyler was deeply affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, though he was only 11 years old at the time. Ever since that day, he was determined to serve his country in the military, his father said.
“You couldn’t change his mind about it,” David Kreinz said.
Once in the Army, Tyler’s goal was to wear tanker boots. Soldiers in the tank corps have a special style of combat boots with straps and buckles that serve as a symbol of distinction. Tyler earned his boots and wore them proudly.
It seems almost perfunctory, 10 years into the longest war in American history, to offer mere condolences to the families of brave soldiers lost in a halting slog so far from home. Rather, we should remember today, tomorrow and for years to come that remarkable soldiers like Tyler Kreinz volunteered to serve their country, inspired by a calling that helps illuminate the finest characteristics of an under-appreciated generation of young people.
That said, we hope and trust that the Kreinzes find some degree of solace in the deep and enduring empathy of untold numbers of Stateline-area residents who understand that no loss pierces the heart quite like the death of one’s child. May the grace of God sustain this fine family in the difficult days ahead.
Read more on the Outlook and Perspective pages of CSI's Walworth County Sunday e-edition on pages 8A and 9A. and add your comments below.