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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By Army SFC Matt Meadows

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Hero Soldier Makes Ultimate Sacrifice
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U.S. Army Spc. Christopher G. Stark was a 22-year-old Monett, Mo., native assigned to 705th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company based at Fort Polk, La., when he died during an improvised explosive device attack while on a dismounted patrol in the Tangi area on Feb. 28, 2011. Stark was working out of Combat Outpost Tangi in support of 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, while deployed in Afghanistan. Courtesy photo - Jan. 13, 2011
U.S. Army Spc. Christopher G. Stark was a 22-year-old Monett, Mo., native assigned to 705th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company based at Fort Polk, La., when he died during an improvised explosive device attack while on a dismounted patrol in the Tangi area on Feb. 28, 2011. Stark was working out of Combat Outpost Tangi in support of 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, while deployed in Afghanistan. Courtesy photo - Jan. 13, 2011
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (3/5/2011) – A soldier attached to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division's Task Force Patriot based at Fort Polk, La., died as the result of an enemy attack in Wardak Province Feb. 28.

U.S. Army Spc. Christopher G. Stark was a 22-year-old Monett, Mo., native assigned to 705th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company when he died during an improvised explosive device attack while on a dismounted patrol in the Tangi area. Stark was working out of Combat Outpost Tangi in support of 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, while deployed in Afghanistan.

Several soldiers said Stark was an outstanding team member and a great EOD technician. Stark's comrades said he was always willing to help others and made everything he did fun for himself and for those around him.

“Spc. Stark served as my EOD team member; his input and enthusiasm was crucial to the successful completion of numerous missions,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Czikalla of Clive, Iowa. “He loved being an EOD technician. There was never a day that Chris didn't live life to the fullest. He experienced more in his 22 years than many do in a lifetime.”

Stark's “strong sense of loyalty and devotion to his team made him a very reliable technician,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Chandara Hak of Santa Rosa, Calif., and 705th EOD member. “You could always count on Spc. Stark to have your back in any situation.”

U.S. Army Spc. Dwayne Rhymes of Conroe, Texas, knew Stark as a friend and brother who worked hard and was always willing to learn new things. He said fellow soldiers could
always count on Stark if they ever needed anything, calling him “a blessing to those around him” who will be missed but never forgotten. 
The officers of 705th EOD also valued Stark as an EOD expert and a soldier. They knew Stark was an integral part of their organization.

“Spc. Stark was great at everything he did. You could always count on him to do his best and give his fullest effort,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alex Dial of Decatur, Ill. “He was an invaluable asset and an absolute pleasure and blessing to be around.”

“Specialist Stark was a gifted and motivated soldier,” said U.S. Army Capt. Aaron Teller of Hillsville, Va., Stark's company commander. “He had a driving passion for EOD work.”

Stark's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal with star device, Global War on Terror Service Medal, NATO Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Basic Badge.

By Army SFC Matt Meadows
Combined Joint Task Force 101, Patriot Public Affairs
Copyright 2011

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