Thirty-six-year-old Ricky Kieffer was an army National Guard staff sgt. assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 182nd field artillery regiment. He was from Ovid, Michigan, which is about 30 miles north of Lansing; a quiet farming community with a population of about 1700.
He was killed Tuesday in Baghdad.
According to the department of defense, his unit was attacked by insurgents using small arms fire.
In a town where almost everyone knows everyone, the news hit hard that Clinton County had lost its first soldier in Iraq.
"He's a hometown hero, he gave his life for what he believed in," said Al Goodrich, an Ovid police officer and friend of Kieffer's.
Kieffer was a full time army national guardsman. Originally a mechanic for the army, he was retrained to handle security. The department of defense has not released many details as to how he died.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.