Memorial ride held to honor Kiel soldier

KIEL – Engines roared in Kiel Saturday morning during a memorial ride to remember Army Sergeant Heidi Ruh.

Family and friends came together to remember the soldier who died earlier this year.

Ruh’s body was found May 9th on a running track at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. But there are still some unanswered questions in Ruh’s death.

The military told her family she was fatally shot in a “non-combat related incident” and they don’t have any evidence of foul play, but the Army hasn’t ruled it out.

The 32-year-old sergeant worked in a medical unit.

“It’s tough. It’s really tough. We have good days and then we have other days where the thought is in there constantly,” said Scott Ruh, Ruh’s father.

Three and a half months later, Ruh’s family still doesn’t know what happened. The investigation into her death is not yet complete.

“It’s a long process with the military,” Scott Ruh explained.

A statement by an Army spokesperson stated, “To protect the integrity of the investigative process, we are not releasing any details at this time. I can tell you that Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command go to great lengths to determine not only what happened in a death case, but also if there is any information as to why…we owe that to the soldier, their family and friends and the Army.”

Gone but not forgotten, her family held a memorial motorcycle ride to celebrate Ruh’s life.

“I knew Heidi when I was in school. I hung out with her a lot. We were good friends. She was a fellow Cowboys fan, like I am, so we got along well,” said Jesse Reil.

Ruh’s father chooses to remember his daughter’s great sense of humor.

“She pulled a lot of practical jokes and things like that. She could always brighten up a room with some of her one-liners that she always had,” Ruh said.

Even those who didn’t know Ruh came to the event.

“It kind of gives you the goosebumps all over because you’re doing something good,” said Terry Kloppenburg.

“Our son’s in the military and we try to do all the military rides. Even if it’s a sad one like this here [we do] anything to support the military,” said Allan Goddard.

Ruh’s father says support from the community help him and his family get through the tough times.

“It feels really good knowing that everybody’s out there,” Ruh said.

The 90-mile ride in Ruh’s name will help other veterans.

Money raised by those revving their engines will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, benefiting those injured while serving their country.

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