US soldier dies in noncombat incident in Kosovo
By KIM GEIGER | Chicago Tribune | Published: May 14, 2014
An Army staff sergeant who had an address in Barrington, Ill., at the time that she enlisted 11 years ago was killed last week in a noncombat-related incident in Kosovo, military officials said Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. Heidi Lynn Ruh, 32, was assigned to 1st Medical Brigade, at Fort Hood in Texas, and had been deployed to Kosovo in January, according to the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, which announced her death in a news release.
Ruh's family, which is in northeastern Wisconsin, was notified of her death Friday but received little information about what had happened, her stepfather Scott Ruh said.
“She was shot and killed and that's all anybody knows,” Ruh said by phone Tuesday night. “The military has been here guiding us through the process. It's under investigation, and that's all they said.”
The incident is being investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Fort Hood press office said in its news release.
Ruh said his stepdaughter had lived seven or eight years ago with her ex-husband's parents in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago, but that she had not lived in Illinois since that time.
Ruh was a decorated soldier who had been deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2011 to July 2012, according to the Fort Hood press office. Her awards include two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals and three Army Good Conduct Medals, among many others.
She joined the Army in January 2003 as a biomedical equipment specialist, and stayed with the military for more than a decade because “she enjoyed it, and she got to see the world,” Ruh said.
“She was always bubbly and had great humor,” Ruh said. “She was never down.”
Ruh said the family is waiting for more information about the circumstances surrounding his stepdaughter's death, but that “it's not going to be for a long time; it's the government.”
Even arranging for a funeral has been a challenge, Ruh said.
“Our only concern is to get her home and we're trying to do that now,” Ruh said. “We don't even know when she is going to be home, so we have no information.”