Christopher W. Thompson—July 2006 Shipment Honoree
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class, age 25, of N. Wilkesboro, North Carolina.; assigned to Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 8th Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; killed in action on October 21, 2005 from an IED explosion while conducting Combat operations against enemy forces in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
Wilkes County, North Carolina Sailor Killed in IraqSource: Associated Press
Hospitalman 3rd Class Chris Thompson and another member of the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) were killed in the bombing near Amiriyah, 25 miles west of Baghdad. Thompson, 25, was riding in the left rear seat of an armored vehicle when an improvised explosive device was set off, his parents, Larry and Geraldine Thompson.
Thompson’s executive officer said he was proud to go to war with Thompson, his brother, David Thompson said.
“He knew if something happened, he’d take care of them,” David Thompson said. “If things were worst, he’d be the first one to step up.” David Thompson also is a Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines.
When Thompson came home from his first combat tour, he was asked how he managed to insert an IV in someone’s arm on a battlefield while bullets were crackling by and bombs were exploding. “He said, ‘All I can tell you is I haven’t missed yet. When you’ve got somebody dying, you’ve got to do what you can do,” Larry Thompson said.
During his first tour from March 2004 to October 2004, Thompson helped four Marines hurt when a bomb exploded beside the Humvee in front of his. A fifth Marine, his best friend, died in his arms.
At home, he talked to his father about still seeing the faces of those who had died. Larry Thompson, an Army veteran, said he still sees the faces of those who died when he was in Vietnam.
“I don’t want to forget them,” he says he told his son. “I want to remember them and honor them.
“You do the best you can and come home. That’s all you can do.”
Thompson joined the Navy when he was 21. He finished basic training three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and was sent to the USS Austin. Eighteen months later, he started corpsman training.
Thompson’s mother remembered him as a funny boy. As a teenager, he would sneak her convertible out to take his friends for a ride, she said. She never told him she knew.
He played football and baseball at North Wilkes High School, and hoped to study at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. when his military duty ended. He wanted to become a coach and teacher, his family said.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher W. ThompsonSource: The Gazette
Chris Thompson kept a level head as a Navy hospital corpsman, even amid the violence and bloodshed of war. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Jernigan said Thompson saved his life after an explosion and firefight left him blind and bleeding. “He was one of the best men I’ve ever met. I’m standing here because of him,” Jernigan said.
Thompson, 25, of North Wilkesboro, N.C., died Oct. 21 in an explosion near Amariyah. It was his second tour in Iraq. Thompson’s sister-in-law, Mellisa, a corpsman in the Navy Reserves, offered a tribute during his funeral. “I can remember at our wedding that Chris was always hugging me,” she said. “He said he’d always wished for a sister.” Thompson won the Navy and Marine Commendation with Valor for his actions that saved Jernigan and other Marines on Aug. 22, 2004. His brother, David, also a Navy hospital corpsman, said that Chris’ executive officer told him he was proud to go to war with Chris. “He knew if something happened he’d take care of them,” David said. “If things were worst, he’d be the first one to step up.” He also is survived by his parents, Larry and Geraldine.
Petty Officer Third Class Christopher ThompsonSource: Charlotte Observer. 10/29/2005.
NORTH WILKESBORO—Officer Thompson, age 25, of Shingle Gap Road, Millers Creek, died Friday, October 21, 2005 in Iraq. Funeral services will be held Sunday, 3:00 at Peace Haven Baptist Church with the Rev. Tim Pruitt and Rev. Tommy Hutchins officiating. Burial will be in Mountlawn Memorial Park.
Petty Officer Thompson was born in Wilkes County, July 30, 1980, to Larry and Geraldine Reid Thompson. He served in the US Navy as a corpsman and was attached to US Marine Corp in Camp Leujune. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon 3rd Award, Good Conduct Award, Combat Action Ribbon Operation Iraqi Freedom, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, The Navy and Marine Commendation with Valor and the Purple Heart.
Christopher was very active in sports. He played baseball for North Wilkes High School and Wilkes Community College. He also played football at North Wilkes High School. Christopher was a member of the North Wilkes ROTC for one year. He was active in Yellow Jackets Football and Babe Ruth Baseball and a counselor at the Elk Camp for two years.
In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by two brothers, Jimmy Epley and his wife, Krista of Hays, David Thompson and his wife, Mellisa of Wilkesboro; paternal grandmother, Statia Thompson Eplee of Forest City.
Memorials may be made to Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, 875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203-1977. Online Condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com
The members of Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were honored to remember Christopher during the month of July 2006 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 Christopher’s family and friends today and in the years to come.