Local Marine loses his life in a training operation

Kyle Wolf Weninger, a member of the Marine Forces Special Operation was killed during U.S. Army Airborne training.
Updated: Jun. 21, 2020 at 10:24 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Marine Sgt Kyle Weninger was scheduled to graduate from United States Army Airborne training on Friday, but instead, his family is grieving his death after he was killed in a training exercise.

Sgt Weninger, after five years in the Marines, was chosen and successfully completed training for the Marine Forces Special Operations Command. He was training to become a paratrooper at the Army’s Fort Benning facility in Georgia when he was killed.

His parents Ernie Weninger and Michelle Henry and their entire family are staggered by the loss of their son.

“I think the hardest time right now is I wake up every morning and just can’t imagine that he’s not going to come walking through that door, ever,” said Henry.

Sgt Weninger is a Kenston High School graduate where his football and hockey teammates knew him as Kyle, but when Weninger joined the Marines, and his friends learned his first name was actually Wolfgang, he soon became known as Wolf.

The name fit, Weninger’s parents were told, by a Marine commander, because of their son’s unconquerable spirit.

Ernie Weninger said his son found that spirit when he joined Marine Forces Special Operations.

“He was humble, he was sensitive and he was incredibly proud, personally, of that accomplishment to be part of this incredibly elite unit,” Weninger said.

After leaving Kenston High, Weninger played football at Catholic University in Washington D.C. and at Valparaiso, but his dad said his son was looking for the right fit for his life when he decided to join the Marines.

But, his father said, it was not until he made it through training for the Special Operations Unit that his son felt like he had found the place he was meant to be.

“Through all of that adversity and through all of those years seeking that meaning, that purpose, that mission, he had found it,” Weninger said, “He came out clean on the other side and I was glad that he was able to accomplish that before he died.”

The family says that support and kindness from family and friends are what is sustaining them right now.

“This is something that is so hard and so deep and so unknown that I just don’t even know to express how much I am going to miss him,” his mother said.

Sgt. Wolfgang Kyle “Wolf” Weninger was 28 years old.

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