Some of his fellow soldiers were killed in the attack. Others were taken as prisoners of war. But the U.S. military has listed Kiehl as missing in action.
In the United States, his family is looking for any information on his condition.
His wife, Jill, who is expecting the couple's first child in April, talked to The Early Show from Des Moines, Iowa. Kiehl's father Randy and stepmother Janie joined the discussion from Texas.
Jill Kiehl says she first discovered her husband's company was ambushed when her father read an article that reported that some members of the 507th maintenance company were dead or captured by Iraqis.
"Later that night, I had someone from the National Guard in Iowa come out and confirm he was one of the 12 unaccounted for soldiers," says Jill Kiehl.
She soon called James's father and stepmother about the news.
"It was a shock to all of us," says Randy Kiehl.
He says the Army has kept in contact with the family, but no new information has materialized.
At 6-feet, 80-inches tall, 240 pounds, James Kiehl is a big man. In high school, he was a basketball player and lead trumpet player for the marching band.
"He's a big teddy bear," says Jill Kiehl. "He loves his sports and he loves his wife and he's real excited about the baby coming."
She says they had already named the baby, and she knew he had conflicting feelings about going to war.
"He wanted to stay, of course, to see the birth of his child, but he knew when he joined the military that that was something that he had a risk of having to do and he accepted it and kept positive thoughts," says Jill.
"And before he left, he had said, 'It's not good-bye, it's see you later.' I think he was pretty positive about the outcome."
Jill Kiehl says they have supported the war and stood by President Bush 100 percent.
Staying optimistic, Randy Kiehl says he's still hoping for good news about his son, and says friends and family are providing comfort in this time of uncertainty.