Monday, September 17, 2007

Christian Wilson remembered

His love of the outdoors, of hunting, fishing and camping, led Lee Christian Wilson to join the U.S. Army.

"It was a job that took him outside," said his father, Lee Wilson, of Chapel Hill. "He got to play with a gun."

Christian Wilson died at the age of 30 in combat in Mosul, Iraq, on Sept. 6 when an improvised explosive device blew up near his vehicle. A sergeant, Wilson also died Sept. 6; two fellow soldiers, Spc. Jason J. Hernandez, 21 of Streetsboro, Ohio, and Spc. Thomas L. Hilbert, 20, of Venus, Texas, who were wounded by the same bomb, died on Sept. 7.

Christian Wilson was a Canadian citizen who grew up in Ontario, but in 1991, his family moved to Chapel Hill. He attended Chapel Hill High School.

Christian was a private person who spent time alone, but he had an adventurous Canadian spirit and spent his time outdoors, his father said. He liked to take trips to the mountains.

"He didn't want to be inside," Lee Wilson said. "He'd hunt, fish, cross-country ski and just walk in the woods."

In 2000, he joined the army and was later deployed to Iraq. Immediately, things weren't right, his father said.

"When he got there, they had nowhere to live," he said. "They lived under the Humvees, and the body armor did not fit."

Wilson was a big man, and the body armor didn't even reach his waist, his father said.

"They had cold food," Lee Wilson said. "They ran out of water."

His son didn't even have adequate clothing, he said.

"When his uniforms were destroyed, we had to go buy them to replace them," Lee Wilson said, anger rising in his voice as he described the lack of support his son and other soldiers received from the U.S. government.

Lee Wilson told of calling up government officials and asking where on his tax form he could deduct the cost of his son's uniforms. They told him he couldn't.

The sadness returned to his voice as he talked about his son's duties as a cavalry scout, a job that required his son to repeatedly go into dangerous situations.

Wilson was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Bliss, TX.

He was on his fourth tour of duty in Iraq and was scheduled to return to the United States in December. He was looking forward to spending time at the beach, his father said.

From the Herald Sun

Related Link:
Christian (Lee C.) Wilson dies 'from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations'