Gathering honors former UW-Whitewater student killed at Fort Hood

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Ted Sullivan
Thursday, November 12, 2009
— Friends of a former UW-Whitewater student killed in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting last week described her as an uplifting woman who lit up a room.

“She really was an amazing person,” Jill Reifsnider said. “She made the ultimate sacrifice.”

More than 100 people gathered around a flagpole on UW-Whitewater’s campus Wednesday for a candlelight vigil in honor of Staff Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, who died Nov. 5. Krueger studied psychology at UW-Whitewater.

Krueger was one of 13 who died after Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at the army base.

During the ceremony, a color guard and military members stood in their uniforms. A woman sang the national anthem. People were allowed to share their memories of Krueger.

Steve Faulkner, a friend, said Krueger lifted her up when he was down. They played darts, barbecued and ate Krueger’s famous noodles together.

“Amy was a very dear friend of mine, and I will remember her forever,” Faulkner said. “Thank you, Amy, for being you and for being a very dear friend.”

Jessica Daul described Krueger as a sister who had a beautiful smile and bright eyes.

“Never in my life have I met a more admirable person,” Daul said.

Krueger joined the Army after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Giana Tralongo, a friend, said military service was important to Krueger. She said Krueger was unselfish and brave.

Dana Huber only knew Krueger a short time, but she said Krueger was a genuine person who impacted people. Huber said Krueger had a great personality and a positive presence.

Reifsnider, a close friend, said Krueger was an amazing woman and great soldier. She described Krueger as a hero.

Others said Krueger was looking forward to serving in Afghanistan after her stay at Fort Hood. They said she loved her job and was proud to be a sergeant.

People described Krueger as honest, loving and strong, and that she was fun to be around.

One woman said she only met Krueger twice, but she came out in her pajamas to honor her. She said she loved Krueger.

When people finished speaking, a prayer was read in honor of Krueger. A moment of silence was shared. People lit candles together. Everyone blew out their candles after singing “Amazing Grace,” one of Krueger’s favorite songs.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, responding to a student’s complaint, sent a letter to the university objecting to the vigil. It claimed the university couldn’t promote a religious service.

Last updated: 11:58 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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