OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - An Overland Park soldier serving in Afghanistan is killed in action. His family is mourning Saturday, but they're also sharing with Fox 4 who Sgt. Mike Knapp was, starting with his role as a new father.
Knapp's father-in-law Tom Brassfield said they were told Knapp died May 18 in Afghanistan.
"Our neighbors love us and our friends love us and it's been great and it's going to be tough but the love of God and the love of our friends will get us through," said Brassfield.
Brassfield said the family got the grim news about his 28-year-old son-in-law on Friday.
"My wife had been home and saw some military people getting out of a car and walking up the driveway and that can only mean one thing," said Brassfield.
It would mean Knapp's nine-month-old daughter Kinsley will now grow up without him, and his wife Abby of four years will now only have memories about the kind of guy Knapp was: caring, loving and loyal.
"Mike was a soldier through and through and you just couldn't ask for a guy that's more loyal to our country and to my daughter, and then to my granddaughter," Brassfield said.
Brassfield said Knapp wasn't just loyal to his family, but his country. He said Knapp had been serving in Afghanistan since November. Before that, it was Iraq, and then Kosovo right out of high school.
"He knew he was going to be deployed again to Afghanistan but he went and served because he wanted to and went and served his country and did it proudly," Brassfield said.
It's not the ending Brassfield said his family prayed everyday for, but they say Knapp was a man of God, so they know his ultimate sacrifice has landed him in a safe place.
"He knew God and we know where he's at and we're all looking forward to getting there," Brassfield said.
The Department of Defense has not released any information about how Knapp died.
The family has set up an assistance fund for Knapp's daughter at Valley View Bank called the "Kinsley Knapp Assistance Fund." They also said a praise service for Knapp has been tentatively scheduled for May 29 at Legacy Christian Church.
If you would like to donate to help the family, make checks payable to: Kinsley Knapp Assistance Fund
Valley View Bank
7500 W 95th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212
Attn: Kara English
Tom and Marla Brassfield
8117 W 101st Terrace
Overland Park, KS 66212
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