BURLINGTON, KY, USA U.S. Marines CPL, L CO, 3D BN, 8TH MAR, (1-1 AD, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC AR RAMADI, IRAQ 08/29/2006
Marine Corporal (CPL) Christopher Tyler Warndorf, 21, of Burlington, Kentucky, died August 29, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Ramadi, Iraq. He was killed while serving his country when a suicide car bomber drove through the base’s gates and detonated an improvised explosive device. Tyler was based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and serving on his second tour in Iraq, the first tour being in Fallujah. Tyler’s current tour was scheduled to end September 14, 2006. Four of his close relatives had already served in Iraq and returned safely, with a fifth scheduled for duty there in a few weeks.
Tyler was born on July 15, 1985, the oldest son of Christopher and Tina Warndorf. He had a younger brother, Nick, and sister, Katelyn. Tyler’s father died in 1994, and, at the early age of 8, Tyler assumed a key role in family leadership. Tyler matured quickly; he started working early to help out his family financially and did the physical labor around the house. But he also grew up playing knothole baseball and video games. He joined the Marines after graduating from Conner High School, Hebron, Kentucky, in 2003. He considered studying criminal justice and possibly working for the CIA.
He was a thoughtful and caring brother who helped raise his siblings. He encouraged them to focus on getting good grades in school. When Katelyn turned 13, he sent her 13 white roses, delivered to Conner Middle School, where Katelyn was in gym class. Over the intercom, the school played a tape of her brother singing “Happy Birthday” to “Boo,” his nickname for her. When he was last home, Tyler gave his car to his brother, who uses it to drive to his pre-law classes at Northern Kentucky University. At the time of his death, Tyler’s brother Nick was 18 and his sister Katelyn was 14.
Tyler’s hobbies included studying history, riding his motorcycle, and listening to rock-and-roll music. At Tyler’s visitation, classic rock hits played and a Marine guarded Warndorf’s closed casket, which was draped with a U.S. flag. More than 600 people attended his funeral at First Church of Christ in Burlington, Kentucky, and Tyler was buried at St. Mary Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.