Sunday, September 23, 2007

Christian M. Neff dies 'of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device'

The region has lost another soldier to the Iraq War.

Christian Monroe Neff, a U.S. Army soldier and Shawnee High School and Apollo Career Center graduate has been killed serving in Iraq.

Neff, 19, died on patrol Wednesday of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.

Neff was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Stewart, Ga.

Neff’s sister, Shannon Neff, is a senior at Apollo Career Center. Apollo Superintendent Chris Pfister said Thursday the school’s community is mourning Neff’s death.

“He was a nice young man,” Apollo Superintendent Pfister said. “It’s very sad. He was a fine young man. You hate to hear that.”

Paul Nardini, now superintendent of Shawnee Local Schools, remembered Neff from middle school days when Nardini was principal.

“He was a good kid. His parents were always very supportive,” Nardini said. “He was a very kind person. It’s just a shame.”

Kim Martin, a spokeswoman for the recruiting office of the Army, confirmed Neff’s death, but said she had no details of the circumstances.

Neff, the son of William and Nancy Neff, of Cridersville, was an honor roll student in Apollo’s information technology program and a 2006 graduate. He attended Shawnee United Methodist Church.

The Rev. Charlotte Hefner, pastor of congregational life at Shawnee United Methodist Church, declined to comment about Neff. Hefner said the family asked her not to comment and that the family would issue its own statement to the press.

No statement from the family was received as of press time at 11 p.m. Thursday.

The family could not be reached for comment.

From the Lima News