The Kitelinger Family
Spc. Robert “Bo” Kitelinger enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 23, 2003. He was inspired to join the military in memory of his late mother, who passed away when Kitelinger was 10 years old. Kitelinger’s goal was to become a soldier to make her proud. After enlisting as a senior in high school, he was assigned to HHC 1-502nd Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he completed Air Assault School.
Kitelinger deployed to Iraq in August 2005, where his platoon was tasked to provide security for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team stationed in Mahmudiyah. While attempting to secure the area during a routine mission for an improvised explosive device (IED) call, an IED went off, knocking Kitelinger unconscious and severely injuring several members of his team.
As a result of the incident, Kitelinger was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He continued his military duty, choosing to re-enlist in 2006 as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic and eventually deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. He deployed a third time in 2010 to Iraq. Kitelinger’s military career ended when he medically retired in July 2014. Since his retirement, Kitelinger has actively sought extensive help for his PTSD in order to make his transition into the civilian world as seamless as possible. Understanding his need for long-term medical help, he applied to colleges near 15 different VA hospitals to continue his education and was accepted into nine.
Kitelinger received numerous awards during his 10 years of commendable service, including a Purple Heart, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with star, Iraq Campaign Medal with 4 stars and more. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Kimberly, and their three children. He and Kimberly have been married since June 2007 and are both very active in their community.
Kitelinger is currently enrolled as a Junior at Marquette University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He plans to continue on to medical school to become a doctor of sports medicine. During his time at Marquette he was selected to participate in an exclusive lab course only offered to 12 students, founded the Marquette University Student Veterans Association, and has been able to work 150 hours of volunteer physician shadow time at the VA. In his free time, Kitelinger is a third degree knight with the Knights of Columbus and a youth soccer referee.
Now Kitelinger and his family will get their wish! Thanks to Operation FINALLY HOME and Belman Homes, Neumann Companies and the Structural Building Components Association, the Kitelinger family will have a home to call their own in Wisconsin