Pfc. David Walter Kramer, a 20-year-old graduate of Kearns High School, was killed by enemy fire in the Persian Gulf war a week ago, his father said.
David George Kramer of Palm Desert, Calif., said he was notified on Monday that his son had been killed. The delay was caused by the difficulty of tracing relatives through the home base in Germany and the fact that a couple of digits in some location information - presumably a telephone number - were transposed.Notification officials searched for Kramer for three days before they unraveled the problem and were able to get in touch with him.
"He was a gunner on a Bradley tank, and he got hit by enemy fire," Kramer said. David Kramer died Feb. 27.
The younger Kramer was in the first of the 41st Infantry, stationedin Germany, his father said. "He was in the Third Armored Division, who was supporting the First Infantry Division."
Kramer attended Kearns High School until his junior year, then left for Arlington High School in Riverside, Calif., living with his father. He returned to Kearns for a short time in his senior year so that he could graduate with his Utah buddies in 1989.
Matt Christenson, his track coach and drafting teacher at Kearns High, remembered Kramer as "a real nice kid, real likable."
"He was always at practice, and he did a great job. He was friends with the other kids on that team . . . He just wanted to be with the other guys."
Kramer talked about taking up drafting as a career when he got out of the military.
"It was a definite interest," and Kramer had a mechanical bent. "He was real precise and meticulous, which makes a good draftsman. He was a real good student; he was very smart."
The elder Kramer said his son returned to California after graduation, around the first of June 1989. He was home only a few months. "He went into the service in August."
Kramer said his son lived in Utah about 99 percent of his childhood. The family's roots go deep into Utah history, he said. "My grandparents were some of the founders of Provo."
At Kearns High, he said, his son played football and was involved in baseball. "He enjoyed drawing - just a general, all-around kid."
Asked about his son's attitude toward the war, he said, "Oh, he was definitely supportive of the war. He wanted to get the job done. He had no hatred toward anybody, but he didn't like to see the atrocities that were being pulled on the people over there."
He last spoke by telephone with his son Jan. 5, not long before the 41st Infantry left Germany for Saudi Arabia.
Shauna Smith, his former stepmother, lives in Kearns.
Kramer said funeral services will be held at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, Calif. But the date of the funeral hasn't been decided.
"The final arrangements haven't been made yet," he said.