Fallen Lake County soldier honored by Cleveland Indians as family pays tribute on Memorial Day

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 8:48 PM EDT
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LeRoy Township, Ohio (WOIO) - The family of Army Staff Sgt. Kyle McKee gathered in LeRoy Township on Memorial Day before attending a Cleveland Indians game as the team honored the fallen hero with a tribute.

McKee was among five Americans killed during a military training exercise in Egypt last November.

The Painesville-area native left behind a wife and three children, including a 6-month-old daughter born just 12 days after his death.

“The last six months have been — it’s kind of been a whirlwind,” his wife Lauren McKee told 19 News. “They’ve been having a hard time. They were so close with their dad. They had plans whenever he got back and now they don’t have that.”

McKee’s brother and father both served in the military.

“He was a true hero in our eyes,” his dad Steve told 19 News. “We miss him and we love him.”

The family was invited to the Indians doubleheader on Monday; McKee was honored early in the first game.

“Terry Francona has reached out to us personally, which I find very humbling,” Steve said.

The Indians manager was photographed with the group prior to the games on Monday; the team posted it on its social media platforms.

Memorial Day is now a holiday that this particular family will forever view in a different light. It is a feeling only a handful of American families must endure.

“You kind of take for granted, in the past, Memorial Day. It’s supposed to be a happy get together. It’ll never be the same,” Lauren said.

Staff Sgt. Kyle R. McKee, 35, was a UH-60 Helicopter Repairer assigned to Aviation Company, Task Force Sinai. He enlisted in the Army in 2003 and arrived in Egypt in July 2020. His previous overseas tours include tours in Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

McKee’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge, Senior Aircrew Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

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