Friday, January 06, 2012

Army Spc. Christopher A. Patterson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Christopher A. Patterson, 20, of Aurora, Ill.

Spc. Patterson was assigned to 81st Troop Command, Indiana National Guard, Indianapolis, Ind.; died Jan. 6, 2012 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr. and Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt.

Spc Patterson graduated from West Aurora High School in 2009, where he played in the school band. He attended Valparaiso University where he was a member of the University Chorale, VU’s premiere vocal ensemble, and was a participant in last spring's Chorale’s tour to Washington D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. He was planning to become a music teacher.

Spc Patterson also was a member of Phi Mu Alpha, a professional music fraternity; VuVox, a student acappella group; and was enrolled in the ROTC program.

When his National Guard unit was activated to leave for Afghanistan in November, Patterson had the option of not going with the unit.

He told his parents, "Mom, Dad, that's not what I joined the Guard for. I joined to serve my country. I'm going with my unit."

They said their son didn't normally write home to tell them he was leaving on a mission, but this time, he did.

"We pray for the other families in the Indiana National Guard that have lost their soldiers. They were a family," his mother said.

Father, Robert, said of his young son, "He was a man of God, full of life, he was a really good friend.

Patterson’s father is retired from the Navy, his mother is a Navy reservist, yeoman second class. His younger brother, Carl, enlisted in the Marines and is in boot camp.

“Chris embodied the spirit and thoughtful leadership that best represent the students who attend Valparaiso University,” said Scott Ochander, vice president for marketing communications. “This was especially apparent when considering his calling of service to his country.

"As he progressed in his studies, his potential to become an excellent music educator was obvious. He will be sorely missed by his peers and his professors", Ochander added.

He was a fine young man and will be sorely missed by all of us at VU,” said Christopher Cock, a music professor and director of choral and vocal activities at the university.

Army Spc. Christopher A. Patterson was killed in action on 01/06/12.

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