Sgt. Dennis E. Kancler
July 31, 2011
BRECKSVILLE, Ohio -- Dennis E. Kancler, the son of former Brecksville Police Chief Dennis A. Kancler, died Sunday in Afghanistan, military officials confirmed Wednesday.
A Marine sergeant who had completed two tours in Iraq, Kancler, 26, died in a noncombat incident with two other Marines in Herat Province. The military offered no other information on the cause of their deaths.
Kancler; Staff Sgt. Patrick Dolphin, 29, of Moscow, Pa.; and Sgt. Christopher Wrinkle, 29, of Dallastown, Pa., were assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
Kancler was a "joint terminal attack controller," a highly skilled job in which Kancler ordered military firepower from the air or the ground, said Maj. Jeff Landis, a spokesman for the specials operations command.
Kancler, the father of a 3-year-old son, graduated from Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in 2003.
He reported to Parris Island in September of the same year, according to a 2008 chamber of commerce newsletter in Jacksonville, N.C., near where Kancler was based at Camp Lejeune.
Kancler was a private person who liked working out and spending time in the woods deer hunting, and he was hoping to finish his degree in sports medicine. He joined the Marines because he wanted to serve his country after the Sept. 11 attacks, he told the chamber of commerce newsletter.
Kancler's sisters, Colleen and Stephanie, are both married to Marines.
The family, who could not be reached for comment, this week drove to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet Kancler's body.
Former Brecksville Police Chief Kancler "was extremely proud of his son and daughters being in the military," current Police Chief Richard Mannarino said.
Mannarino said he spoke Monday morning to the elder Kancler, who said he was notified Sunday night of his son's death. Kancler retired in January after 21 years as chief.