Andrew F. Chris – March 2005 Shipment Honoree
Army Spc., 25, of San Diego; assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; killed June 25, 2003 in Iraq. Chris was fatally wounded in combat operations in hostile enemy territory.
Army Ranger killed in Iraq to be buried with father in AlabamaSource: Kristen Green, San Diego Union-Tribune
Army Spc. Andrew Chris followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, father, uncle and beloved older brother when he joined the military in 2001. It was a way to connect with the generations of his family.
Chris, 25, who had ties to San Diego, was killed in combat operations June 25, a few days after arriving in Iraq. His brother, Derek, said ordnance exploded near the vehicle Chris was riding in, and the Army Ranger died immediately. Today, his remains will be buried with his father’s in Huntsville, Ala., where he was raised.
Before Andrew Chris joined the Army, he lived for five years in California, most of them in San Diego. After he graduated from high school in Florence, Ala., he moved to Lemoore, south of Fresno, to live with Derek. When Derek and his wife relocated to San Diego six months later, Andrew followed and rented a North Park home with the couple. He worked for a graphics company for a while before moving to Steel Skin Inc., a body jewelry company in Poway. When Derek relocated again, he stayed behind, moving into a Linda Vista apartment with friends. He and his roommate, Brett Hall, 27, spent many weekends exploring and camping in the mountains of California and Arizona. “We hiked all over the place,” Hall said.
Andrew Chris was well-read and had a special interest in World War II. “He’s just like a walking history book,” Derek Chris said. He planned to teach high school history when he completed his military career. Andrew Chris was quiet and reserved, and extremely loyal to family and friends. He had visited Derek’s family just before he was sent to Iraq. “He had such a magical aura that he drew people to him,” Derek Chris said. “He just had a ton of friends everywhere he went.”
Andrew Chris’ Army Ranger unit was based at Fort Benning, Ga. He is survived by his mother, Cheryl Dawson of Baton Rouge, La.; his grandmother, Barbara Phillips of Huntsville; two brothers; a stepbrother; and a stepsister.
The members of Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were honored to remember Andrew during the month of March 2005 with our shipments to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and U.S. military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Andrew’s family and friends today and in the years to come.