“He wanted to be buried near the ocean,” his father said, adding that the family is awaiting details on when the body will arrive on Maui.
His mother, Diane Campbell, told The Daily News of Jacksonville she remembered him and his older brother learning to ride a unicycle brought back from Okinawa as one example of her son’s determination.
“If Chris thought he could, he would try,” Diane Campbell said.
Former high school football coach Jack Baile remembered Campbell, 36, showing he was up to a test when he tried out for the team as a smallish junior at about 5 foot-7 and 140 pounds.
“When kids come out for football for the first time, the first thing you’re worried about is, are they going to like to be hit, or want to be hit, and like to hit. That was not a problem with Chris. He had no fear with that,” Baile told The Associated Press.
“I remember hearing for the first time when he had joined the SEALS, I thought that kind of fits Chris. He didn’t have a lot of fear of things and I think he always wanted to try to prove to somebody that he could do things. He was an adventurous-type guy.”
Campbell’s work frequently sent him on missions out of the country, and his family asked few questions when he showed up with a full beard or arrived for a visit that could only last three hours. In an email to his daughter Samantha sent days before the crash, he wrote that he was looking forward to coming home in November and celebrating her 15th birthday in January.
Chris Campbell told his family that if he was killed in the line of duty, he wanted the local newspaper to write about his life and death, with a request for donations in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project. The project helps wounded service members recover from their war injuries.
When 24-year-old Nicholas Spehar said he was going to do something, you could take him at his word.
The 2005 graduate of Chisago Lakes High School was a “quiet leader,” a star in academics and three sports during his time at the school along Minnesota’s eastern border, said Principal Dave Ertl.