BANGOR, ME, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 32D INFANTRY, FORT DRUM, NY KORENGAL OUTPOST, AFGHANISTAN 03/29/2007
Army Specialist Christopher M. Wilson, 24, of Chicopee, Massachusetts, died March 29, 2007, in Korengal Outpost, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from a rocket propelled grenade explosion. Wilson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.
Even as a little boy, Christopher always wanted to be a soldier, his older sister, Katrina Evans, said. “He was strong enough that others didn’t have to be,” Evans, 29, said. “He’s always carried the weight of things for people.”
In the rugged, isolated outpost where he was stationed in Afganistan, he said longed to be with his 4-year-old daughter, Jayden. On his Web site, he said his biggest fear was not coming home to her. Evans said Wilson planned to take care of the girl, who was living with relatives in Maine, when he returned from his posting. He looked forward to taking her to Disney World this summer.
A reunion with his daughter was not to be. The Chicopee resident, who spent a year at North Quincy High School, was killed at an outpost on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that is frequently under heavy fire from the Taliban. Wilson died of wounds he received when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near him.
The 24-year-old infantryman had been scheduled to return home in February, but his division’s deployment was extended until June. The military has been beefing up its presence in the remote Kunar province where Wilson was killed in an effort to combat a Taliban resurgence.
Evans last spoke with Wilson on February 19, 2007, she said. “He told me that it was hard out there because he had lost so many friends, and he just hoped to make it home,” she said. Evans said that even though she was five years older than her brother, he was her “hero.” She had reservations about his decision to join the military, but said she knew there was no stopping him. When her fourth son was born, she said she and her husband decided to give him Wilson’s last name. “I said, ‘What if Chris never has a little boy, then the last name ends with Chris.'”
Wilson was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division’s Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, nicknamed Task Force Spartan. About 3,500 soldiers from Task Force Spartan are serving in Afghanistan. The division is based at Fort Drum in New York.
Wilson was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
“Chris joined the Army because he was a caring person and loved to help people out,” said Eric Boisjolie, 20, a friend of Wilson’s from South Hadley, near Chicopee.
Boisjolie and other friends of Wilson said that when he wasn’t training, he most enjoyed partying and hanging out with his friends. “He didn’t like the fact that he went so long without seeing his friends and family,” Boisjolie said.
Amy Hogan, a friend from Oswego, N.Y, about an hour south of Fort Drum, said Wilson had hoped to be home in time to attend her June wedding, teasing her “it’s not a wedding unless Wilson’s there.”
“And he was right about that,” she said.