Saturday, May 05, 2007

Christopher Degiovine laid to rest

COLCHESTER, Vt. --Cpl. Christopher DeGiovine joined the Marines as a way to serve his country and show his love for his family, a clergyman said Saturday at his funeral.

DeGiovine, 26, ended up giving his life for his country. He was killed by a roadside bomb April 26 in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, three weeks after he arrived in Iraq.

"Chris wanted to serve his country," said the Rev. Brian Cummings, the director of the campus ministry at St. Michael's College in Colchester. He led DeGiovine's funeral Mass in the college chapel. "He wanted to make a difference."

DeGiovine grew up in Essex Junction, graduated from Essex High School and Champlain College, but he had left Vermont. The military listed his home as Lone Tree, Colo.

He joined the Marines in December 2005, at least partly in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Cummings said.

"It was out of love that Chris joined the Corps," Cummings said. "We cannot lose sight of this hopeful vision for our world."

DeGiovine's Marine commander, Lt. Col. Michael Kuhn, said DeGiovine joined a long line of Marines who, for more than 225 years, have committed their lives to their country.

"The Corps gives its thanks to Chris by giving him immortality," said Kuhn. "As long as we are on duty, his service will not be forgotten."

DeGiovine left a wife of 18 months, Rachel.

It wasn't the first time the DeGiovine family has lost a family member to war.

DeGiovine's grandmother, Camille DeGiovine of Greenville, N.Y., lost a brother in World War II, during the invasion of Normandy, Cummings said. Now "her own flesh and blood has been spilled" again, Cummings said.

Degiovine is the 26th serviceman with ties to Vermont to have died in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since March 2003. Vermont has one of the highest per capita casualty rates in the country.

And it was the second time during the current school year that the St. Michael College chapel has been used to remember the violent passing of a loved member of the community, Cummings said.

In late August, the day before classes started, the St. Michael's chapel hosted the funeral for the Essex teacher killed in her classroom by a gunman seeking his ex-girlfriend.

"Vermont has not escaped the turmoil of our world," Cummings said.

Vermont's Roman Catholic Bishop Salvatore Matano also spoke about how the realities of the world were finding their way to Vermont.

"These faraway places are now at our doorstep," Matano said.

From the Boston Globe

Related Link:
Christopher Degiovine killed 'while conducting combat operations'