Township Bulletin June 9, 2004
Army National Guard Spc. Christopher M. Duffy
Brick soldier, 26, killed in Iraq
Christopher M. Duffy one
N.J. Army National Guard Spc. Christopher M. Duffy
of first two N.J. National Guardsmen lost
BY KARL VILACOBA
Brick Township is mourning the loss of its first armed service member killed in combat operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.
N.J. Army National Guard Spc. Christopher M. Duffy, 26, was one of two guardsmen killed in a convoy while traveling east of Baghdad Friday. Also lost was Sgt. Frank T. Carvill, 51, of Carlstadt, who served with Duffy in Battery B, 3rd Battalion of the 112th Field Artillery, headquartered in Lawrenceville.
"While we mourn their loss, we also celebrate their indomitable spirit," said N.J. National Guard Brig. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth. "We remember the patriotism and generosity they demonstrated by virtue of their selfless service defending our freedom and attempting to restore freedom to others."
Duffy and Carvill were the state’s first National Guardsmen killed in action in Iraq, according to Rieth.
Duffy is survived by his wife, Casey, and 8-month-old-son, Ryan.
Mayor Joseph Scarpelli described Duffy as "a super kid," a role model who volunteered his time to Brick Township Senior Services programs, Brick Municipal Alliance Committee on Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Youth Services (B-MAC), and local Christian Youth Organization basketball activities.
Scarpelli said he was alerted by state Sen. Andrew Cielsa late Friday afternoon that a N.J. National Guardsman from Brick was killed, but was not told his name. When he pulled up in front of the family’s home Saturday, and saw his sister, his "knees buckled" — he had married the Duffys only months before in January. At the time, Duffy was "very upbeat" about his plans to serve, Scarpelli said.
According to Brick Township Special Events Office Coordinator Alan Cohen, over 125 known Brick residents are current members of the armed services. The township has maintained a Wall of Honor in the municipal building with their names and faces, which has grown from three to six boards since it was started last year.
The township added a photo of Duffy on Monday, framed in black and draped with a ribbon that reads "Gone, but never forgotten."
"Brick Township has really been involved with this conflict," Scarpelli said of the high number of service members from town. "I hoped and prayed that this wouldn’t happen to one of our own. It’s a sad community."
Scarpelli said in a released statement on Monday that the township would not hold a memorial service out of respect for the family’s wishes for privacy.
Cohen said later that afternoon that his office had received permission from the Duffy family to organize a ceremony in honor of the guardsman on a date after his funeral. The date and location of Duffy’s memorial services were not known at press time.
The Special Events Office is still seeking photos of armed service members to add to its Wall of Honor. For more information, call (732) 262-1006.
|From Amber M Mans 07/15/04
ODE TO DUFF
By: Amber M. Mans
He was fighting for us
On that Friday
Under that midday sun
In Sadr City
He had left a young wife
And newborn son behind
To fight for freedom
And a better life
From his laughing blue eyes
To that big, boyish grin
He was a fiercely loyal
He was a jovial, strong
Who was a fanatic for sports
And a huge Yankees fan
He was so full of life
A joy to be around
It was a shock for all to hear
That he would be Baghdad bound
Now the time has come
To pay our respects
To a Solider, Father, Son, Husband
Do Chris this honor
While I have you all here
Share his stories and memories
In each passing year
Keep his spirit alive
And he will always be near