KIEL – The family of a local soldier says their daughter has died while serving overseas.
The father of Army Sgt. Heidi Ruh says the 33-year-old died Friday.
She was stationed on a base in Kosovo.
The military told the family she was fatally shot while on base. But that’s all the Army will say.
“It’s been very hard. The worst part is not knowing anything. All we knew was that she had been shot and killed,” said Scott Ruh.
Ruh says Army officers came to his home in the town of Newton Friday afternoon, bearing the unbearable news that his daughter was dead on a base in Kosovo.
“It was just so surreal when it hit. Friday night we still were kind of like you know, realizing it, I still think we don’t fully comprehend it at this point,” said Ruh.
Ruh says his daughter had been in the Army for 11 years. She worked in a medical unit, repairing surgical machines.
“She volunteered for this assignment. She got there in February of this year,” said Ruh.
He says the Army won’t tell him anything else about her death; only that it’s under investigation.
“And our worst part was we thought our worries were over, you know that she was going to a non-hostile area and she was only there a couple of months,” said Ruh.
Ruh spent 2012 deployed in Afghanistan. She was based out of Fort Hood, Texas.
“She had been there almost eight years. She had been through the shooting, with the Kreuger girl that was from Kiel,” said Ruh.
Sgt. Amy Krueger was killed in the Fort Hood shooting in 2009. She and Ruh were a year apart in school at Kiel High School.
Now the town of 2,000 will bury another soldier.
“Right now, our main concern is we just want Heidi home,” said Ruh.
Sgt. Ruh’s family says they are planning a public memorial service for her once her body returns to the Kiel area.
Besides her parents, Scott and Catherine, Ruh is also survived by two sons, ages eight and eleven.
Her family says the boys live with Ruh’s ex-husband and his family in Arkansas.