The military made the following announcement today:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Spc. Christopher J. West, 26, of Arlington, Texas, died Feb. 4 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered on Feb. 3 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
West is one of my relatives by marriage -- the brother-in-law and extremely close friend of my wife's nephew. His family told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram more about the life of the Texas A&M graduate and fourth-generation soldier who joined the Army in 2007.
Spc. West was a combat medic, and was scheduled for rest and relaxation at his family's home in Arlington this weekend, according to his sister, Lauren West, 27.
"It was going to be his last mission before he came home," she said. "He loved what he was doing. He said he felt like he had found his calling. He thought that it was very possible that he could make the Army a lifelong career."
My heart goes out to his family and friends back in Texas and the people who knew him at Fort Bragg.