Warwick, NY, US
U.S. Marine Corps
SSGT, INTEL BN, SPEC OPS, SUPPORT GROUP (2D MSOB), CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
05/04/2013, FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan
SSG Christian, of Warwick, NY was in the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command as a counterintelligence/human intelligence specialist. He served in the Marine Corps since May 2004.
Eric was one of four athletic brothers who starred on the fields of Ramsey High School in the small Bergen County, NJ town. He graduated in 1993. 6,700 miles away SSG Christian was killed in an attack by an Afghan National Army soldier whom he had been training.
“He was the best guy I knew,” Phillip Christian, described his brother whom he saw last in November 2012.
Phillip Christian explained that 150 Marines lined the tarmac as his brother’s remains were returned to America. He added, “He felt a strong sense of commitment to the guys he served with and the guys he led. I think it’s pretty self-evident. SSG Christian was on his fifth tour of duty in the Middle East having deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“He was feeling a sense of wanting to protect his little brother, also a Marine, and a sense of patriotism,” said Phillip Christian.
The school superintendent, Bruce DeYoung said he remembered Eric and his family, especially receiving athletic awards. He added, “This is a small school and there’s a sense of family. Even people who didn’t know Eric personally look at it as a loss of one of their own.”
SSG Christian was also a musician and lived and played in Seattle and San Francisco. After high school, Eric attended college in Louisiana for a year, and played football there. High school classmate Ken Schmarge said that SSG Christian’s death is a loss to the entire community. He explained that Christian got along with everyone. “He fit in with lots of different groups. It could be the artistic people, the athletes. He was friends with all of them.”
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”John 15:13