Christopher J Nelson

ROCHESTER, WA, USA U.S. Army CPL, COMPANY B, 1ST BATTALION, 38TH INFANTRY, 4 BCT, FORT LEWIS, WA BALAD, IRAQ 11/18/2007

An Army soldier from Rochester in southwest Washington has reportedly been killed in Iraq. The family of Specialist Christopher J. Nelson tells The Chronicle in Centralia that he was killed Nov. 18.

Family members say the 22-year-old was a 2003 graduate of Rochester High School and deployed this summer from Fort Lewis. Nelson’s father, John Nelson, says his son was on his second tour in Iraq.

Christoper Nelson married Angela Marquez about two years ago, and her father, Leo Marquez, says the family was notified of his death Nov. 18.

Leo Marquez and other relatives said Nelson and two other soldiers died in a previously reported attack as they were distributing toys and other gifts to children at a playground. At least three children also died and seven were wounded.

Nelson was “just a goodhearted guy” who played football in high school, enjoyed riding all-terrain vehicles and was drawn to children, often ignoring other adults in favor of playing with younger brother, sisters, nieces and nephews, Marquez said.

“He just wanted to serve his country and he believed in what was going on,” Marquez said.

Christopher’s portrait is also located on Poster 3