Tiger Force 66/69
Ken was in Tiger Force from 1966-1969. He was medically retired after his 5th Purple heart, in 1969 for wounds received while still a member of Tiger Force. As a Tiger he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, ARCOM with V for Valor, and three Purple Heart with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters.
We were notified last week (6/1/2015) that Ken was Selected as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment at a Regimental Board held last week at Fort Campbell.
Obituary for Kenneth David Kratzberg
Kenneth (Ken) David Kratzberg, age 79, passed away quietly, in a Boise hospital after a short battle with cancer. He was known to many as a hero, husband, step-father, grandpa, great- grandpa and friend.
He lived his life in service to others as a generous, loving and honorable man. He served his country valiantly in Korea and Vietnam.
Ken was born in Toronto, Canada on March 28, 1936. He arrived in Idaho with his mother at age six, spending much of his young life on farms in small-town Idaho. As a young boy, he herded sheep, kept horses and lived the farm life with his trusty dog “Tippy”. He loved life and his adopted country, his military career spanned nearly twenty years of service to include time in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Prior to this, he was stationed in Mainz, Berlin and Nellingen, Germany. He maintained contact with the friends he made in Germany to the end. Ken served with the Tiger Force from 1966-1969. He was medically retired after his fifth Purple Heart in 1969 for wounds received while still a member of the Tiger Force. As a Tiger he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, ARCOM with V for Valor, and three Purple Hearts with Four Oak Leaf Clusters. He was to receive a Distinguished Member of the Regiment award as determined by the Regimental Board just last week at Fort Campbell.
Ken was discharged from the Army with a disability resulting from severe injuries which affected the rest of his life, to include a two year stint in a Denver Hospital; from these injuries he lost his hearing and carried shrapnel around for the rest of his life. He was one of the first individuals to receive an experimental cochlear implant to restore some of his hearing in the early 1990’s.
This did not stop Ken from living life to the maximum, after being released from the hospital, he loaded up his 1969 Camaro with camping gear and trekked to Germany for a year of adventures and camping, where he made many lifelong friends.
When he returned to the USA, he obtained employment with the United States Postal service where he worked until he retired after twenty-four years. During his time working at the Post Office, he married his wife Gisela in 1984. They shared many camping trips and travel with their beloved dogs and assorted grandkids. Ken loved to take the grandkids on backpacking trips in the mountains of Idaho and Gisela and Ken even challenged Mt. Borah on one of their trips.
He had a great sense of humor and maintained it to the very end, even attempting to bribe a family member with fifty dollars if they could get him “out” of the hospital. The multiple cancers progressed very quickly and within two weeks of admittance in the hospital he passed. He will be missed by many to include his wife Gisela, her children Heike Golden of Boise, Robin Barker of Middleton, Slim Barker of Caldwell, their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At Ken’s request, no services will be held, however memorials can be made to the Wounded Warriors Project. A private celebration will be held with family and friends in July.