LONE TREE, CO, USA U.S. Marines CPL, A CO, 2D AABN, (RCT-6, II MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC FALLUJAH, IRAQ 04/26/2007
A Marine Corps corporal who grew up in Vermont has been killed in Iraq, the Defense Department announced April 30.
Corporal Christopher Degiovine, 25, was killed in combat April 26 in Anbar province when an improvised explosive device struck his amphibious vehicle.
“His passing is devastating for us all,” said Dave Johnson, 61, who lives next door to the Marine’s father and watched the young man grow up. “Polite, well-educated, patriotic, full of life – he was a wonderful young man.”
Degiovine, whose current home address was listed as Lone Tree, Colo., was attached to the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. He had been in Iraq for only two weeks.
A graduate of Essex High School, he majored in criminal justice at Champlain College, where he graduated in 2005. He aspired to a career in law enforcement, and did bicycle patrols for the Essex Police Department for two summers while in college, according to police Lt. Ken Beaulieu.
“I got a phone call on my cell and it was a bad connection, but I heard ‘This is the Marine Corps’ and I knew exactly what this call was all about,”‘ his father, Ray Degiovine, told WCAX-TV.
He said his son had a great sense of humor and was an avid golfer.
“He’s going to be tremendously missed by all of us,” his father said.
Johnson, who had dinner with Degiovine and his father three weeks ago before his deployment to Iraq, said Degiovine was thrilled to be serving his country.
“He was full of life, enthusiastic. He was excited to be in the Marines,” said Johnson.
Pam Borden, 34, who has lived next door to the Degiovines for five years called Degiovine a “wonderful kid.”
“We just knew him from across the fence, but he was always friendly, always said hello, not your typical teenager. He loved his Dad, and he was his Dad’s whole life.”
The Marine Corps flag flew alongside the U.S. flag at his father’s house April 30.
DeGiovine’s Marine commander, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kuhn, said DeGiovine joined a long line of Marines who, for more than 225 years, have committed their lives to their country.
“The Corps gives its thanks to Chris by giving him immortality,” said Kuhn. “As long as we are on duty, his service will not be forgotten.”
DeGiovine left a wife of 18 months, Rachel.