GRIFFIN, GA, US
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, 1ST BN 2D MAR, (RCT-2, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
05/06/2010, CAMP BASTION, AFGHANISTAN
Marine Lance Corporal Christopher Blake Rodgers was killed in action on September 1, 2010 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He was 20 years old. Christopher, or Blake as he was known to family and friends, was a lifelong Griffinite, from Griffin, Georgia. Blake attended Crescent Elementary School and Taylor Street Middle School before graduating from Spalding High School as a member of the Class of 2008. As a child, Blake was an avid Lego builder. He built houses, buildings, ships, planes, and anything else he could design. He also played baseball on several youth league teams. He enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, paintball, airsoft, shooting and just hanging out with his friends. He was a highly accomplished artist. Blake was also an authority on aircraft, a passion he indulged through reading, building models, drawing aircraft, visiting airports and attending air shows.
All that changed though on September 11, 2001, when Blake, then 11 years old, witnessed airplanes used as suicide weapons against the twin towers in New York City. He set about learning how to be a Marine even at that young age. He enrolled in the Spalding High School JROTC’s Jaguar Battalion and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. His leadership helped his cadets and their Company win Best Marching Company award. But it was his membership in the Battalion’s Raider Competition Team that meant the most to him. He was part of their competitive “muscle” in a grueling combination of endurance racing, orienteering, cross country running, simulated rescue operations, fitness testing, strength and agility courses, rope bridge building, field problem solving and team building exercises, a These day long endurance tests took he and his teammates on competitions throughout Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
After graduation, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was selected as his Recruit Platoon’s Distinguished High Scoring Marksman earning the Expert Rifleman Badge. Blake carried with him a small, desert camo New Testament that Blake carried during Boot Camp; where the quote, “I will never give up, never give in. Take it as it comes and grow stronger” was written in his hand, on its inside front cover. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, NATO International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Sea Service Medal and Combat Action Medal.
Blake Rodgers was a warm, kind, caring and considerate young man. He was polite, respectful and mindful of others. Quick to volunteer and to help, he was also a thoughtful planner and facilitator. Oftentimes the first to lavish others with praise and compliments, he was always reluctant to accept them for himself. His innovative, never quit attitude and infectious sense of humor made him a natural leader. He was greatly loved and will be sorely missed by all who knew him as well as those who only knew of him. Blake exemplified desire, honesty, hard work and dedication. He loved being an American, and he loved HIS Marine Corps.