Wildomar, CA, USA
PO2, Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron (HCS-5) Firehawks, San Diego, CA
Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Thomas Carabine was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Christopher lived in several cities across Canada, before relocating to Southern California with his family in 1990.
After graduating from El Toro High School in Lake Forest CA, Christopher attended Mt. San Jacinto College and Santiago Canyon College, studying Business Administration, before enlisting in 2003.
Christopher knew, by signing up in 2003, he would be deployed to the Middle East. After much consideration, he decided on the Navy because he thought he would always be safe on board ship and would always have 3 good meals a day. Ironically, during his 6 years in the Navy, Christopher never saw time on board a ship. Right after graduating from ‘boot camp’, he chose to work with HCS-5 Firehawks in helicopter combat support, at North Island, San Diego. This team was responsible for doing Combat Search and Rescue, along with Special Operations, in support of SEAL Team One (also out of San Diego). He loved this close-knit group and was more than happy to give up the relative ‘safety and luxury’ of a ship for the personal satisfaction of being a Firehawk. Of the many medals, ribbons and commendations that Christopher received, none was more valued than being selected ‘Firehawk of the Month’ in August 2004.
At a recent Firehawk Association reunion, one of Christopher’s shipmates wrote:
“I was deployed to Iraq with Chris in 2006. I don’t need to tell you what kind of a man your son was, you already know. I can tell you he was one of the most dedicated sailors I have worked with. He always put the job, Navy, and shipmates first. I just want you to know that it was an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve with your son. I will never forget him and I will tell my son about the man I served with in Iraq. My deepest sympathy to you.”
Christopher had a special way with animals and hoped that one day he would have the ability to keep his own little farm. It was never a surprise to see him with a pet possum on his shoulder or to see him driving to a local senior center with Havasu (his alpaca) in the back seat of his car. He was always ready to step up and adopt an animal in need – one day coming home with six llamas that had to be rescued.
Christopher is greatly missed by his parents (David and Janice) and his sister (Jennifer – now Jennifer Monsen). Christopher would have made a wonderful uncle to his niece, Peyton and nephew, Hunter. Unfortunately, both were born after Christopher left us at 29 years old.