One of the hardest days of Kristy Krger's life was the day she lost her brother, Lt. Col. Eric Krger, to the war in Iraq.
"I was overwhelmed with grief," she says.
A singer-songwriter out of Dallas, Kristy decided at her brother's Arlington National Cemetery funeral to perform a concert for the grieving family.
It turns out that the January show, played on what would have been his 41st birthday, was just the beginning. This month, Kristy began touring across America in tribute to her brother.
Lt. Col. Krger was stationed at Fort Carson when he was sent to Iraq on his third tour of duty in the Middle East. He was killed by an improvised explosive device on Nov. 2, 2006, his second day in Baghdad. After 18 years of military service, he was one of the highest-ranking officers to be killed in the war.
The last conversation they had, Kristy says, was about their shared adventurous spirit.
"He did what he loved, put himself out there and died for his country," Kristy explains. "If he could do that, then I can honor him by carrying his humor and personality with me to all 50 states."
Kristy, just days removed from playing at Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival, says this tour will hit small towns and big cities, so she can gain a better understanding of the country her brother died for. She stresses that the tour is all about her brother and her own grieving process not politics in any way.
Half of the tour's proceeds will be donated to a memorial fund for Lt. Col. Krger's four children who, along with his wife, were left behind.
Kerry A. Bennett
Singer-songwriter Kristy Krger
Rico's Caf and Wine Bar, 320 N. Tejon St.
Friday, March 23, 7:30-10 p.m.
No cover; donations accepted for memorial tour and Lt. Col. Krger's Memorial Fund. For more, call 630-7723. Donations also may be mailed to 4850 Langdale Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.