Miles Kaiser, 43, Marine who received Purple Heart

June 19, 1996|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF

Marine Staff Sgt. Miles N. Kaiser, who last week received a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in El Salvador 11 years ago, died Monday of complications from injuries he suffered while in the service. He was 43.

Gen. Alfred M. Gray, a former commandant of the Marine Corps, bestowed the medal Thursday on Sergeant Kaiser at Stella Maris Hospice at Mercy Medical Center, where he was dying of AIDS. Sergeant Kaiser was injured in a land mine explosion in the summer of 1985 while on a mission in El Salvador.

His family said he contracted the disease through a blood transfusion he received in a hospital there.

He served with the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, an elite Marine unit. Friends and family said Sergeant Kaiser also participated in the unsuccessful April 1980 attempt to rescue American hostages held in Iran.

In 1982, he was part of the Marine security guard at the U.S. Embassy in war-ravaged Beirut, Lebanon.

After a 1986 medical discharge, Sergeant Kaiser worked as a business manager at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and later at George Washington University, heading computer projects.

"He was the most Marine Marine I ever met," said his father-in-law, Nat Cobitz of Pikesville. "He had the dedication to the Marines that a priest has to religion. And he took that dedication, courage and honesty to every part of his life."

Sergeant Kaiser was born and raised in Liberty, N.Y., and joined the Marines in 1972. In the service, he traveled to Paris; Casablanca, Morocco; and Cairo, Egypt.

Services will be held at 9 a.m. today at Sol Levinson & Brothers Home at 8900 Reisterstown Road.

He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Linda; a daughter, Emily Ann; a son, Matthew Henry; his parents, William and Cynthia Kaiser of Liberty; and a brother, Harry Kaiser of Ohio.

Pub Date: 6/19/96

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