Mar. 23, 2003 — Nasiriyah, Iraq
Army Sgt Kiehl was assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas. Kiehl was killed when his convoy took a wrong turn and was ambushed near Nasiriya. The 22-year-old computer repair technician was among seven soldiers found dead during the rescue of Private First Class Jessica Lynch. James spent his childhood in a military family in southern California. He was a teenager when his parents divorced and he moved with his father to Comfort, Texas, where at 6ft 8in he excelled in basketball and played the trumpet in the school's marching band. He joined the Army in the hope of building his computer skills, but he also found the love of his life there – Jill. They were an odd couple. She was short, serious and a natural pessimist. He was tall, goofy and had a sunny outlook. When Jill would become pessimistic, James would tell her to "just think the best". Before he went overseas with the 507th Maintenance Company, he gave his pregnant wife a teddy bear with a taped message of his voice she could listen to when she was lonely. "I'll see you when I get back," it says. He also wanted his unborn son to be able to hear his father's voice. James will be remembered as someone who always wanted to help, always pitched in and always struggled to do his best for everyone.