- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 29, 2006

Army Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Swanson died July 22 while conducting combat operations in Iraq. He was 25.

Sgt. Swanson was killed after encountering small-arms fire from anti-Iraqi forces while on a dismounted patrol in Anbar province.

He graduated in 1999 from Southern High School in Rose Haven, Md., where he was the captain of the soccer team.

On his third tour of duty in Iraq, he was a member of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, Task Force 1-35 Armor, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. He previously had been deployed in operations in Kosovo.

In the Army, Sgt. Swanson received various awards, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Kosovo Campaign, Army Good Conduct, Iraq Campaign, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, NATO, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals.

He also received a Presidential Unit Citation and a Bronze Star and has two Purple Hearts pending.

“He had a serving attitude and a serving heart,” Sgt. Swanson’s father, Gary Swanson, told the Associated Press. “When we were on mission trips to Cleveland, Florida, West Virginia … he would always volunteer for the dirtiest jobs.”

Sgt. Swanson is survived by his parents, Gary W. and Kelly L. Swanson of Rose Haven; a brother, Kenneth S. Swanson of Rose Haven; four grandparents, Roger and Tillie Swanson of Philippi, W.Va., and Peggy and Conrad C. Sloan Jr. of Zephyrhills, Fla.; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A visitation will be tomorrow at Lee Funeral Home in Owings Mills, Md., from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro, with burial to follow at Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorial donations can be sent to the Staff Sgt. Christopher William Swanson Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 82, Friendship, MD 20758.

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