SSG. Christopher M. Ward

Let me tell you the story of MY HERO! It all began on a lovely Wednesday evening April 20, 1988, shortly before 4 p.m, this BEAUTIFUL baby boy with bright green eyes, made his appearance with a loud wailing cry as if to say, "I'm here!" Christopher grew up in the normal fashion as most boys do, playing baseball, football, basketball and track. He was very competitive and always knew what he wanted and did whatever it took to achieve that goal. He was about 5 years old when he told me he wanted to be a cop so he could arrest the "bad guys." As he grew older, this concept started to become more defined and at the age of 13, Chris joined the JROTC and excelled in the group. In fact, his Commander of the group told me that when he first saw Chris he had the look of a LEADER! Before the 1st year of the class was over he told me, " Mom, I want to be a Soldier and help us win back Our Country from terrorists!" This gave me both a scared but PROUD feeling because he wanted to follow the path of many family members into the Military. He stayed in JROTC for 3 years, achieving the title of Squadron leader.

Eventually we moved to Tennessee and while in his junior year, we had some problems with the school he was attending because they did not recognize some of his courses , such as JROTC, as credits for graduation. Chris, along with my approval, quit the school and went for his GED, acing it with flying colors!! He had already gone to the Army Enlistment office and done all paperwork , and Chris officially became a member of the USAF and on November 17, 2005, he left for training in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He excelled very well and achieved the leader status and he was the youngest of all that were there. He left for his duty station in Fort Stewart, Georgia on October 16, 2006. He never changed in his duty station and served 2 tours to Iraq and while serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, he was killed by a VBIED (vehicle-born improvised explosive device such as a car bomb) on April 6, 2013, ending the life of such a GREAT man and Soldier!! Chris had plans to become an Army Ranger and Aviation Officer and was enrolled in Physical Medicine. He had received several Army Commendation Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Iran Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars and other service-related awards. He had received posthumously the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart Medal. He was very PROUD to be an American and often said he "worked for the people of America, not the politics of the Government." He lived life to the fullest even if it meant taking dangerous chances. He was well liked, sociable and had a very humorous attitude. He also loved challenges and was toughest on himself so he could help his comrades to strive to overcome their weaknesses to be the best they could be! He also was on the "1,000 lb." team and worked out when he had free time. He told me once that he lived by the "American Soldier" motto. He is GREATLY loved and missed by his family, friends and comrades and I shall FOREVER miss his BEAUTIFUL green eyes, sparking smile, his sense of humor and lastly, his FEARLESS ATTITUDE!!! This is the story of an AMERICAN SOLDIER!!