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July 17, 2012

FORT McCOY, Wis. - As part of the July 6 graduation ceremony of the 2012 Recruit Conservation Warden Class at Fort McCoy, the parents of the Beloit soldier killed in action who dreamed of joining the conservation law enforcement service were on hand to honor their son's career goals.

David and Mary Kreinz lost their son, Tyler Kreinz, on June 18, 2011, when he was killed in action serving in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom.

Tyler's 2011 obituary detailed his impressive service that earned him a rank of Specialist and to be part of the U.S. Army Armored Division as a Tanker - and as an Army Scout. Tyler and his team would provide forward support for units moving into unsecured areas to make sure it was safe for the units to follow.

"Tyler became an expert in American and German weapons and was an expert marksman," his parents said in a statement included in the July 6 graduation program of the Warden Recruit Academy Class of 2012.

And it was Tyler's extraordinary marksmanship that fueled his parents' long-term commitments to keep their son's dream alive for others. David and Mary Kreinz last year met with Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark and John Daniel, a retired warden now with the Wisconsin Conservation Warden Association, to put into motion their two ideas.

The first was the creation of the Tyler Kreinz Memorial Scholarship, created from donations after their son's death and with the help of Chief Stark, John Daniel and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The first scholarship was presented on March 30 to UW-Stevens Point student Courtney Adair, who plans to become a park ranger with the U.S. Park Service.

The second became a reality July 6 at Fort McCoy when the Tactical Proficiency Award in Tyler's name was presented to newly graduated warden Kyle E. Lynch.

One member of each future warden recruit graduating class will receive the award based upon demonstrated tactical proficiency, Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark said.

"The Kreinz family will be involved in every presentation at the class graduation ceremony," Stark said. "It will allow people to learn about Tyler and his legacy. Tyler will be part of the warden service through this tradition."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff King, Assistant Training Director, and Joanne Haas, Public Affairs, 608-267-0798

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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