Friday, September 14, 2007

Army Pvt. Christopher M. McCloud

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. Christopher M. McCloud, 24, of Malakoff, Texas

Pvt. McCloud was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Sept. 14, 2007 in Baghdad, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle during combat operations. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Michael L. Townes, Spc. Todd A. Motley and Spc. Jonathan Rivadeneira.

Tyler Morning Telegraph -- ATHENS -The widow of a soldier who was killed Friday morning by a roadside bomb said she wants her husband remembered as a role model, who believed in fighting for freedom.

Christopher Michael McCloud, 24, and three other U.S. Army Cavalry Scouts were killed while investigating an al-Qaida camp in the Diyala governorate northeast of Baghdad.

Their M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

"He believed that we needed to protect our country, and he wanted to be on the front lines of that," his wife Sheena McCloud said.

McCloud graduated from boot camp in Ft. Knox, Tenn., in March and was deployed in May. His family expected him home in November.

When McCloud announced to his family a year ago that he wanted to join the Army it was not a surprise.

James McCloud said his brother talked of wanting to join the Army at a young age, but it was on 9/11 when he made his final decision.

"He wanted to support his country and it was the best way he knew how," McCloud said of his brother.

"After 9/11 he felt it was his duty to make sure his kids were going to grow up and be free. He believed in everything the military stood for and felt like joining was his payment for his kids to be free," his wife said.

The last time he and his brother spoke was on Tuesday.

McCloud said his brother was aware of the risks involved with joining the military, but viewed it as a calling.

"He knew it could happen any day," he said.

Mrs. McCloud said the last time she and her husband spoke, they talked about the vacations they would someday take, and how family was doing.

The couple met while attending service at the First United Pentecostal Church of Athens - Sheena was 12 and Christopher was 15.

Sheena said she was drawn to him because of his character.

"His life revolved around making sure his kids were going to be taken care of and his family was provided for," she said.

Mrs. McCloud said she will one day tell their children, 2-year-old Landon and 3-year-old Aiden, that their father died for something he believed in, and that he is a hero.

"He died so they could grow up and be free, and to make the decision to do what they want to do with their lives," Mrs. McCloud said.

For now, she will focus on caring for her two boys, and with the support of friends and family the McCloud children will grow up to know what kind of person their father was.

"I want people to remember what he stood for, and that he loved his children," she said.

Mrs. McCloud said she wants everyone to remember the other soldiers who are still in Iraq.

"I want people to continue to support our troops, our president and everything they stand for because it's because of them we are able to stand here today."

Sheena said she made her husband promise before he left for Iraq that he would come home.

"And now he is, he's on his way," she said.

Army Pvt. Christopher M. McCloud was killed in action on 9/14/07.

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