Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Christopher A Wilbur

Granite City, Illinois

August 12, 2016

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
36 Army SSG

1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

 Fort Carson, Colorado

 Died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from a non-combat-related injury. The incident is under investigation.

From The Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com 08/14/16

Officials: Illinois army sergeant dies in noncombat incident in Afghanistan

An army sergeant from southern Illinois has died in noncombat related incident in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

The Pentagon announced Sunday that 36-year-old Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur of Granite City died Friday in Kandahar. The exact cause of Wilbur's death wasn't revealed.

According to the Pentagon, Wilbur was involved in operations connected with tamping down terrorist activity in Afghanistan dubbed Operation Freedom's Sentinel, which was launched in 2015.

Wilbur was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado.

Wilbur, an Indirect Fire Infantryman, entered the Army on June 8, 2005 and was deployed to Iraq from Dec. 9, 2005 through Dec. 11, 2006 and again on Sept. 23, 2007 through Nov. 20, 2008. He was deployed to Afghanistan on Jan 30, 30, 2010 through Feb. 6, 2011 and again in Feb. of 2016 through Aug. 12, when he died, according to the Army.

Wilbur was the recipient of many commendations and awards:

Army Commendation Medal (four times)

Army Achievement Medal (twice)

Army Good Conduct Medal (four times)

National Defense Service Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star (twice)

Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Army Service Ribbon

Overseas Ribbon (three times)

NATO Medal

Drill Sergeant Identification Badge

Combat Infantryman Badge

Air Assault Badge

"It is always hard to lose a part of our military family,’’ Fort Carson army officials said in an emailed statement. ”Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Christopher Wilbur's family and friends during this very difficult time."

The Associated Press

Chicago Tribune reporter Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed to this report.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch stltoday.com 08/14/16

Soldier from Granite City dies in Afghanistan
By Denise Hollinshed St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The U.S. Defense Department says an Army sergeant from Granite City has died in a noncombat-related incident in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon announced Sunday that Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur, 36, died Friday in Kandahar. The cause of death wasn’t revealed.

Wilbur was married with two young children. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colo.

Wilbur’s father, Richard Wilbur, 69, of Granite City, said his son was athletic and spent time rock climbing and snowboarding in Colorado. “He was very loving to his family and his kids,” he said. “He tried his best to provide for his family. He loved the military.”

According to the Pentagon, Wilbur was involved in operations connected with tamping down terrorist activity in Afghanistan dubbed Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Richard Wilbur said his son was born and reared in Granite City, where he graduated from Granite City High School. He said his son had spent 11 years in the military, including two stints in Iraq before Afghanistan. Previously, he was in the drywall business with a friend, his father said.

Wilbur’s stepmother, Phyllis Wilbur, 66, of Granite City, left St. Louis on Sunday with a military escort headed for Delaware, to meet the plane carrying Wilbur’s body when it arrives Monday or Tuesday. His father was unable to make the trip because of recent surgery. He plans to be at the airport in St. Louis.

Richard Wilbur said he received his last text from his son on Tuesday, before he went into surgery.

“He just texted me good luck and I’ll be thinking about you,” he said.

Wilbur’s mother-in-law, Susan Yarrow of Hattiesburg, Miss., said her son-in-law would be missed. “He was the kind of guy who always had a smile on his face,” she said in a phone interview. “He couldn’t sit very long and was devoted to (his wife) 100 percent.”

Other survivors include a sister.

Arrangements are pending at Irwin Funeral Chapel in Granite City.

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