Jeffrey Duane Kettle
Sergeant First Class, United States Army
RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 999-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2007
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.They died August 12, 2007, in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.
Staff Sergeant Jesse G. Clowers Jr., 27, of Herndon, Virginia. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Sergeant Charles B. Kitowski III, 31, of Farmers Branch, Texas. He was assigned to the 345th Psychological Operations Company, 2nd Psychological Operations Group, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
For more information on Kettle and Clowers, the media may contact the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at (910) 432-6005.
For more information on Kitowski, the
media may contact the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations
Command public affairs office at (910) 432-2035; after hours (910) 432-7714
(ask for the public affairs officer).
The official Army report says he was from Oklahoma, but Sergeant First Class Class Jeffrey Kettle’s father begs to differ.
“They have him listed as Madill, Oklahoma, which is only where he enlisted and lived for a short while,” Ronnie Kettle said in an e-mail Tuesday while traveling overseas. “He is a product of Texas City ... and hundreds of people know and love him there, so I wanted to set the record straight.”
Jeffrey Kettle, two weeks from his 31st birthday, died Sunday after the vehicle he was in struck an improvised bomb in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. Also killed were Sergeant Charles B. Kitowski, 31, of Farmers Branch, and Staff Sergeant Jesse G. Clowers Jr., 27, of Herndon, Virginia.
Jeffrey Kettle was born and raised here and attended Texas City schools for all but his senior year of high school, Ronnie Kettle said. He was a construction and demolition engineer assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In 2003, Kettle received a Bronze Star during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan after uncovering a major weapons cache, Ronnie Kettle said.
Jeffrey Kettle began playing soccer at age 5 and continued playing through high school and during his military career in Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany, Hawaii and Japan. He also played baseball in Texas City.
“He wore his uniform proud and did his job beyond well.” Ronnie Kettle said.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery next week, his father said.
Among his immediate family, Jeffrey Kettle
is survived by his mother, Cindy Kettle; wife, Brandi; sons Donovan, 12,
and Logan, 1; brother Clayton Kettle, now in his 14th year of military
service and deployed in Iraq; and brother Ryan Kettle of Fort Worth.
Texas City soldier buried among Arlington 'heroes'
Jeffrey D. Kettle, who lost his life in Afghanistan, remembered as `ultimate warrior'
By BENNETT ROTH
Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle
With the playing of taps and the firing of three volleys, Army Sergeant Firstt Class Jeffrey Duane Kettle, who grew up in Texas City, was laid to rest Wednesday — one of 30 people buried in Arlington National Cemetery on the same day.
The funeral for Kettle, an Army Special Forces member killed in Afghanistan, took place in a section of the famed military cemetery that is increasingly filled with the graves of soldiers killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He had served in global hot spots such as Iraq, Bosnia and Burundi.
Arlington dates to the Civil War and includes headstones re-interred from veterans of the American Revolution and the War of 1812. The cemetery now includes 361 soldiers killed in Iraq and 56 killed in Afghanistan.
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, the former congressman from Fort Worth, knelt in front of Kettle family members Wednesday to express his condolences.
Kettle's father said his son, 31, wished to be at Arlington because "he wanted to be buried among heroes."
"Jeff was the ultimate warrior," said Ronald Kettle, noting his son joined the Army in 1993 right after graduating from high school, where he was always competitive in sports.
"Every game was a battle to him," he said.
More than 300,000 veterans and their dependents are buried in the cemetery, which comprises 624 acres of rolling land across the Potomac River from the nation's capital.
Arlington is limited to those who died in active duty, have had at least 20 years of active or reserve duty, hold the highest military decorations or were prisoners of war.
In addition, veterans who were discharged with 30 percent or more disabilities prior to Oct. 1, 1949, and spouses and unmarried minors of any soldier or veteran who qualifies for burial, can be interred at the cemetery.
Kettle was buried with military honors as his flag-draped coffin was carried to the grave site by a six-man casket team of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment.
In the brief ceremony on a hazy afternoon, relatives including Kettle's parents, Cynthia and Ronald of League City, and his wife, Brandi, of Raeford, North Carolina, recited the Lord's Prayer and consoled each other.
Kettle was killed August 12, 2007, when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.
His two brothers, Ryan and Clay, a medic in Iraq, attended the ceremony as did the late soldier's two sons, Donovan and Logan, and grandmother, Anne Moore.
The last time he talked to his son, Ronald Kettle said, was in late June after Houston Astro Craig Biggio notched his 3,000th base hit — a topic that interested Jeff because he had played baseball. Kettle said after their conversation he sent his son a "Biggio 3000" T-shirt.
Kettle said his son also communicated through his MySpace page and noted in August that the Taliban were giving the U.S. forces a tough time and would be met by reciprocal force.
During his military service Kettle received awards and decorations including the Bronze Star, Army Commendation, Parachute Badge and Army achievement medal.
Kettle's uncle, Joel, who lives in McAlester, Oklahoma, and who did not attend the ceremony, said that his nephew was the third generation of his family to serve in the military. His father was in the Air Force and his grandfather served during World War II.
He said his nephew decided to serve, "knowing full well what could happen when he went over there. He wanted to be in the Army and always wanted to excel."
A memorial service for Kettle will be August 31, 2007, at Calvary Baptist Church in Texas City, his father said.
KETTLE, JEFFREY DUANE
Michael Robert Patterson
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, May 2008
Photo Courtesy of Holly, September 2007
Photo Courtesy of Holly, August 2007