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Army Sgt. Kurt E. Kruize

Hancock graduate died Sunday in Iraq

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A Hancock High School graduate died Sunday of a noncombat-related injury in Iraq.

The body of Army Reserve Sgt. Kurt E. Kruize, 35, arrived Tuesday night at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

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Kruize was a 1993 graduate of Hancock High School and the son of Lyle and Beverly Kruize, of Hancock.

Lyle Kruize said his son died Sunday in Baghdad. He had been deployed to Iraq in January for his second tour of duty there in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lyle and his wife were notified of their son's death on Monday.

Lyle said Kurt joined the Army Reserve while still in high school and wore his uniform proudly to his senior prom.

The Army hasn't provided the family with further details on what happened, but the investigation is continuing.

Kurt Kruize's wife, Billie Jo, traveled to Dover on Tuesday to receive her husband's body and was on her way back to their home in St. Cloud, according to Lyle.

According to Lyle, the couple have four children, a son and three daughters, ranging in age from 13 to 2.

Funeral arrangements have not been set. Lyle expects that services will be held in St. Cloud.

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