Family, friends hold memorial for slain soldier…
BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — Family, friends and soldiers gathered Saturday to mourn Army Spc. Brett Christian, who was killed in Iraq in July when his convoy was ambushed.
“Brett was extremely bright, he had a very high IQ,” Eileen Christian said of her grandson while standing outside Cuyahoga Valley Community Church.
Christian, who flew in from Tampa, Fla., for the memorial service, said her grandson was open-minded and had a wonderful, dry sense of humor.
“He was a quiet boy,” she said. “He didn’t have to be out in front. He wasn’t one of these show-offy types just a lovely boy.”
Soldiers who served with the 27-year-old from North Royalton, Ohio, described Christian as a leader. When the unit commander needed a bridge secured in Iraq, he called on Christian to lead the point-group, they said. Christian helped secure the overpass and later directed the group back to Kuwait after the expedition got lost, they said.
Christian was a “very, very dependable soldier — the kind of guy that you would want to have in a foxhole with you,” said the Rev. Rich Duncan, the church’s pastor.
Christian is one of 10 Ohio soldiers killed in Iraq since the war started March 19.
He was assigned to Company C in the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division and stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The Christians moved to the Cleveland area from Long Island, N.Y., 13 years ago. Brett Christian attended Richmond Heights and St. Edward high schools.
He was driving a troop truck that was blown up in an ambush about 6 a.m., Iraq time, on July 23. In Cleveland, it was still July 22, his mother’s 47th birthday.
Christian will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
— Associated Press