Tuesday, August 17, 2010

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

Indy soldier's body back on US soil

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indiana soldier’s body was brought home Friday to American soil in Dover, Delaware. 23 year old Sgt. Chris Karch of Indianapolis was killed in Afghanistan Tuesday.

24-Hour New 8 anchor Karen Hensel spoke with the only family member to be in Dover Delaware to bring him home: his father, also a veteran.

The arrival of Chris Karch as told through the eyes of his father Pat Karch of Indianapolis:

“At the airport everything seemed to stop and this was the big priority. They lowered him down and put him into a vehicle. The soldiers were saluting. They were very professional walking up to the casket. They escorted me to the landing strip so I could watch it. There was a roped off place. It was very private and very personal. Chris was the only one on the plane so there was no other family there. It was a flag draped casket and there was a light drizzle today, so it had clear plastic over it. I watched them very professionally take him off the airplane to take him to do what they have to do to him before they can send him home.”

Military members stood with him, so he didn’t stand alone. Pat Karch, the father, says “There were several people there. There was the chaplain there. I had 3 other military escort guys who were sergeants in case I needed anything. They have assured me several times he will never be left alone until he is in Indianapolis. He will never be left alone on his trip to Indianapolis. Since I raised him, I had to be here.”

He watched his son come home not only as a father, but a veteran himself. Karch says, “Mostly his father was there to bring him home. To make sure he came home.”

Both Chris and his dad were in the 82nd Airborne. Chris even stayed in the same barracks as his father had. He'd been deployed twice, had extended his stay to be with unit and had only 20 days left before he was to be home. He was killed in a firefight with insurgents when, as squad leader, he ran across the rooftop to help one of his men and was shot. He'll come home from Dover Air Force Base next Wednesday. Chris Karch was a 2005 graduate of Lawrence Central High School.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

By: Karen Hensel

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May Almighty God Bless this brave Soldier and may God bring comfort to the family who loves him so.

1 comment:

Sarge Charlie said...

His father's statement made me cry. God speed young man, thank you for what you did, you will never be alone.