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Army Staff Sgt. Kurt R. Curtiss

Died August 26, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


27, of Murray, Utah; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Aug. 26 in Sar Howzeh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while his unit was supporting Afghan security forces during an enemy attack.

‘He felt we were in danger’

The Associated Press

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for Aug. 31 for a Utah soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Army Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, 27, of Murray was fatally shot Aug. 25 in a firefight as his unit tried to clear a group of insurgents out of a hospital in Paktika province, Army spokesman Nathan Banks said.

Curtiss is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.

Curtiss had two prior tours of duty in Iraq and told his mother that the situation he found in his most recent deployment in Afghanistan was “brutal.”

“He didn’t say much more than that,” his mother, Ruth Serrano of South Ogden, told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I don’t know if he wasn’t allowed to, or if he just didn’t want to worry people. I don’t know.”

Forty-seven U.S. service members died in August in Afghanistan, the most since the start of the eight-year war.

Curtiss, who enlisted in the Army the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

“He felt we were in danger and he wanted to do something to help,” said his sister, Lynn Burr of Arizona.


Vigil for Utah soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — Friends and family of a Utah soldier killed in Afghanistan held a vigil to remember him on the lawn of his mother’s home.

Kurt Curtiss, 27, died Aug. 26 in Paktika Province in Afghanistan. He was shot while his unit was supporting Afghan security forces during an enemy attack.

Ruth Serrano on Sept. 1 recalled seeing her son at Christmas. She said he was handsome and well-mannered but that something was wrong and he wouldn’t talk about it.

Curtiss, of Murray, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska. He left behind had a wife and two young children.

Curtiss went to Afghanistan in December. He had already served two tours in Iraq.

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