Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SSGT Christopher Neil Staats

Christopher Neil Staats was born on February 13, 1977 in Fredericksburg, Texas, and died on October 16, 2009 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan when his vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device. His fellow soldier, Sgt. Anthony Gabriel Green was also killed.

They were deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and were part of a group of 12 specially selected soldiers from across the state. They were part of an agri-business development team whose purpose was to help the people of Afghanistan become self-sufficient through farming, ranching and business. He was due to return home around Christmas.

SSgt. Staats was a 1996 graduate of Fredericksburg High School and had joined the Texas Army National Guard during his senior year. He graduated from Texas A & M University in 2002 with a bachelor of science degree in renewable natural resources.

He married Monteigne Cordray on November 17, 2005. He was deployed to Kosovo in 2005-2006 with the Texas Army National Guard as part of a liaison monitoring team.

Funeral services were held on October 30, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Fredericksburg.

Patriot Guard Riders from as far away as Houston and Corpus Christi arrived at the church and formed a line of American flags along the front of the church to honor this hero and his family as they arrived for the services.

Across the street from the church, stood hundreds of students of the nearby St. Mary’s School, holding American flags and signs.

The hearse transporting the remains, arrived at 10:00 and was accompanied by dozens of family, friends and military honor guards.

After the services, the funeral procession passed through town to east bound highway 290 to the family cemetery near Luckenbach, Texas for the rendering of formal military honors and private interment in the Staats Family Cemetery.

Hundreds of residents lined the streets and highways, holding flags and signs. American flags flew at half-staff all over town.

SSgt. Staats was laid to rest, shortly after noon, under the clear blue sky of the Texas Hill Country, where deer graze in the shade of live oaks and goats laze in plush grass.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, mother and step-father, father, a brother, sister and numerous other family and dear friends.

(With thanks to the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post for biographical information)

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