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A father remembers his fallen son

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Jared Krutke found his calling at an early age.

He tagged along with his father, Gary, one afternoon when he was 14 years old to the local gun range.

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Gary was able to convince one of his friends in letting Jared shoot a machine gun for the first time.

The results were instantaneous.

"He was hooked," Gary said, who has been a Prescott Police Officer for the last seven years.

Soon Jared got to be pretty good with a rifle and when one factors in his family history - Gary and generations before Jared have served in the military - everyone that knew Jared could see it coming.

"He hadn't even graduated from high school and wanted to sign up for the military," Gary said.

Jared signed up for the U.S. Navy in 2001, thanks to his father's advice.

"I told him if you wanted to get an education, go to the Navy," he said. "If you wanted to be a combat soldier, join the Army."

He quickly moved up the ranks within in the Naval Academy.

"At 24, he was already in a supervisor role," Gary said. "He was doing what he wanted to do. He was going to make a career out of the Navy."

The career lasted tragically only five years as Jared died on March 15 - about a month away from returning home.

And his death didn't occur in Iraq or Afghanistan. No, it happened in Guam. To make the death more tragic, it wasn't of natural causes - it was murder by a fellow Naval sailor.

Read more in the June 6 print version of the Herald.

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