Army veteran serves country and community
Retired Army Spc. Karl Kurtz is a serious man. He is serious about having served his country with honor and about doing good things in the Anza Valley. Then, he smiles and jokes about deeds and misdeeds.
Kurtz first joined the Army in November 1989. After putting in three years, he left the service in 1992, only to rejoin in 1996. He remained until 2013, retiring with 20 years of service. Kurtz served as an automated logistics specialist.
“Most of the time I was deployed,” he said.
His first deployment was with the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations. He deployed to Afghanistan twice and Iraq once.
In September 2007, during his second tour of Afghanistan, Kurtz was in an accident involving unsecured warehouse shelving which gave way and caused injury to his head, back and tailbone. Despite being back on the job just days later, he was sent stateside shortly thereafter.
He continued to perform his responsibilities and served on active duty in Iraq during his one and only tour there. In 2009, he suffered complications due to diabetes and was air lifted to a base in Germany for treatment and was stabilized in good health.
In February 2010, Kurtz retired from the Army but continued to serve with the California National Guard out of Burbank. He was also active with the Wounded Warriors Battalion in Sacramento.
“It was a good experience,” Kurtz said of his career. But it did not end there.
Upon retirement in 2013, Kurtz enrolled in college, earning a degree in organizational leadership from Brandman University.
Kurtz married his longtime love Julie and became a father her young daughter, Sept. 12, 2015. In March 2019, the family moved to Lake Riverside Estates in Aguanga.
He and his wife have a couple of German shepherd service dogs. Emily, who wears jungle bells on her collar for quick identification as she patrols the home, is Kurtz’s professionally trained service K9. Rescued by the family, she was enrolled in the Paws for Patriots training program, and after a year of lessons, she was certified as a service dog. She accompanies Kurtz almost everywhere.
Kurtz is involved with Anza Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1873, the Veterans Paying it Forward group, Boy Scout Troop 319 and recently organized a Veterans Day celebration at Lake Riverside Estates.
“I love my country, and I felt like I needed to honor those that served before me,” he said of the Veterans Day event. “I want to live life to the fullest, be happy and help my fellow man.”
Diane Sieker can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.