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Kurt Kruize memorial service this Sunday

Kruize, an HHS graduate, lost his life in Iraq in April. His parents, Lyle and Bev Kruize, along with many other relatives, live in the Hancock area.

At the time of his death he was a sergeant having served 18 years in the military. Kurt served with the Willmar National Guard unit and then transferred to Buffalo. While with the Buffalo unit he was deployed for the first time in 2003. He then moved to St. Cloud and transferred to that unit where he served in the 367th engineer battalion that left in January for Iraq.

Kurt had received several awards of honor including the Bronze Star, Operation Iraqi Freedom, War on Terrorism Service Medal, Efficiency Honor Fidelity, Iraq Campaign and Good Conduct Medal.

Kurt was married to Billie Jo for 12 years and they have four children Austin 13, Annabelle 10, Raven 5 and Tamika 2. He worked at Viking Coca-Cola as a forklift driver in St. Cloud.

The Hancock Police and Fire Departments will provide a silent escort for the family into town from Page Lake beginning at 1 p.m. The Patriot Guard will also honor Kruize and the family by lining up along the route.

The family will proceed into Hancock to the school where a service will be conducted by Pastor Becky Worner of East and West Zion Lutheran Churches. Kurt's sisters have compiled a slide show to highlight his life and dedication to his country.

There will be special music and other tributes to Kurt by friends. The West Zion Church members will be providing a lunch following the service. The public is invited to attend and honor Kurt's memory.