Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kyle Bohrnsen laid to rest

PHILIPSBURG - Pvt. 1st Class Kyle Bohrnsen, killed in Iraq nearly two weeks ago, was remembered for his love of life as mourners filled the Granite County High School gymnasium to overflowing.

Friends at the funeral Sunday shared memories of Bohrnsen, 22, killed in Baghdad on April 10 when an explosion rocked the vehicle transporting him.

Photographic slides showed a smiling Bohrnsen doing the things he enjoyed: hunting elk, snowmobiling, riding horses, camping, fishing, playing football, helping his sister put a star on the family Christmas tree and spending time with his friends and parents, Geoff and Lisa.

Bohrnsen, 6 feet 3 inches and 250 pounds, was a hardworking gentle giant who was "first to the breakfast table and the last one at the dinner table," family friend Bob Hogue said in a eulogy.

Bohrnsen often worked as a hunting guide for Hogue's Big M outfitters in Philipsburg. Hogue described the young man as a "guide unsurpassed."

The death was felt in faraway places such as Maryland and New York, where hunting clients remember Bohrnsen, Hogue said.

In e-mails, fellow troops praised the good humor and work ethic of the man they nicknamed "Big Country, "Mr. Bronze" and "Spitfire."

Maj. Gen. Randy Mosley of the Montana National Guard stood before the casket and presented Bohrnsen's parents with the soldier's final medals. The Good Conduct Medal was awarded for exemplary behavior, the Purple Heart for wounds received in action and the Bronze Star for meritorious service. Mosley also presented Bohrnsen's mother with the U.S. flag that had draped the casket.

Long rows of flags lines walkways outside Granite County High, and near each was a message written by Philipsburg elementary school children.

"Just because we can't see you, you're still my hero," wrote one.

From the Billings Gazette

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