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CPL Chad D. Groepper, 21, of Kingsley, IA died February 17, 2008 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, WA. He died in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his dismounted patrol using small arms fire.

SPC Chad D. Groepper’s sister, Denae Erickson, laughed at the memory of how her baby brother once installed speakers in her car. She had asked him to change the oil. “Yeah, but doesn’t it sound great?” Groepper had asked her in return. Chad taught us many things, but probably the most important was to never stop making things better,” said his sister.

Groepper was known to be adventurous. At his funeral, a tiny pair of his first cowboy boots were displayed. His casket was painted with racer’s flames. “Chad was always the first one to step up and try something new,” said the Rev. John Battern. “But he had a quiet side to him, too — contemplative. He liked to think about things.” Groepper’s family described him as having a warm personality. “He loved working on cars, snowboarding, riding four-wheelers, anything that was high energy,” recalled his sister.

He also is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and their infant daughter, Clarissa.

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