Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Please Remember Marine Sgt. Christopher Diaz

Today Please Remember Marine Sgt. Christopher Diaz, 27-years-old, killed on Sept. 28th in Helmand province, Afghanistan. (Pictured here with his Military Working Dog, Dino, who was with him when he died).

Sgt. Diaz was killed while attempting to rescue a fellow Marine.

Diaz, from, El Paso, Texas, was a third-generation Marine, assigned to Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

He spent eight years serving in the Marines and was an elite K-9 handler, one of only a handful in the Marine Corps to have the qualifications he possessed.

His skill and professionalism lead to him being chosen to support reconnaissance and special forces in some of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan.

Before departing on his current deployment, he faced a choice.

He had been selected to support reconnaissance and special forces units on raids to “kill or capture” Taliban leaders. He was briefed on the missions he could expect to support and was told he could expect to be in the thick of some of the most determined insurgent resistance in Helmand province.

However, with his enlistment set to expire, Diaz did not have to be part of any of it. But for Diaz, the decision was an easy one: Re-enlist to do what he did best - lead Marines and serve his country.

Once deployed to Afghanistan, He was on one of those missions when he died -- mortally wounded while rushing to help a wounded fellow Marine.

Dino, his military working dog, was with him when he died, but Dino survived the explosion that killed Sgt. Diaz.

Over the course of a tour of duty, military dog handlers and their working dogs build a very special and close bond, becoming the closest of companions.

On the first weekend of October, many Marines who respected Diaz gathered at Camp Leatherneck, the Marines' headquarters in Helmand province, to honor his memory and mourn his loss.

And in the front row, in a place of Honor, was Dino, Diaz's working dog, maintaining a disciplined posture but seemingly unable to look at the large picture of Diaz at the front of the makeshift chapel.

Near 1,000 supporters gathered at his funeral in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

His brother, Jeromie Diaz, says, "He was an amazing person, just an all-around great guy. He could get along with anybody. He walked in the door and he would make you smile."

We Will Never Forget!

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