Sergeant First Class Ed Kramer is on the minds of many around Wilmington; especially those who worked alongside him as a firefighter. After hearing word that he was killed on Monday, many are reflecting on his life, rather than his death. The men of Tower Two in Wilmington consider Ed Kramer their brother; a brother who was a firefighter with the Wilmington Fire Department for nine years. Norm Hinkley went through firefighter rookie school with Ed and said he can't help but smile thinking about him. "It's been sort of somber, but he was an upbeat guy and there have been a lot of us talking about him. You can't help but laugh about different stories," Hinkley said. Thirty-nine-year old Sergeant First Class, Ed Kramer dedicated his entire life to service - both in the military and as a firefighter. In both fields, his life was put on the line. Kramer lost his on the last day of combat operations in Iraq. An IED exploded near is HUMVEE, killing him and three others. "Ed was glad to go over there and he was glad to give his life for his country and for that cause," added Hinkley. Friend, Don Ragavage said the loss has been tough to handle, knowing the kind of man Ed was. "He was a good man, a good firefighter and a brave soldier. It really hurts because we lost a family member." The flag is at half staff at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Wilmington, and as we celebrate our nation's independence, friends honor his life. "Ed, like so many, has paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and for our community," friend Fred Gainey said. Kramer leaves behind a wife and two children. We spoke with a family spokesperson earlier Friday who said they are coping as best as they can. The family is currently working with the military to get Kramer's body to Wilmington to be buried at the national cemetery. We are told that Step Up for Soldiers is hosting a memorial walk on Sunday for Kramer. The walk will begin at the Wilmington Fire Department headquarters at 6:00 p.m.
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