82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper dies in Iraq

February 5, 2008 6:16:37 PM PST
An 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper died of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated while on a dismounted patrol in Muqdadiyah, Iraq Sunday.

Cpl. Christopher J. West, 26, of Arlington, Texas was a Combat Medic with 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 82nd Abn. Div.

"Spc. West brought an upbeat attitude to the platoon that spread to everyone he met," said 1st Lt. Rich Demarais, West's platoon leader. "He loved being a combat medic and a Paratrooper, he was loved by his brothers in the platoon."

West graduated from Texas A&M.

He joined the Army in January 2007. He completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Ga. in March 2007 and Healthcare Specialist Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in July 2007. He completed the Basic Airborne Course in Fort Benning, Ga. in August 2007.

West arrived to the 82nd Abn. Div. in August 2007 and was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div.

"It was an honor to be his platoon leader and we will never forget him," added Demarais. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time, and we will miss him tremendously."

West's awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Medic Badge, and the Parachutist's Badge. West is survived by his parents, John and Hattie West, of Arlington Texas.


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