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Died February 28, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Monett, Mo.; assigned to the 705th Ordnance Co (EOD), 63rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 20th Support Command, Fort Polk. La.; died Feb. 28, in Tangi, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Fort Polk soldiers die in Wardak attack

The Associated Press

The Pentagon says two Louisiana-based soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays, 25, of Cookville, Texas, and Spc. Christopher Stark, 22, of Monett, Mo., died Feb. 28 in Wardak province when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.

They were assigned to the 63rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 20th Support Command, Fort Polk, La.

Hometown remembers former Junior ROTC cadet

By Jess Rollins

Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A 22-year-old Monett man died Feb. 28 from injuries suffered in a blast from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department said that Army Spc. Christopher Stark, 22, and another soldier were killed when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Wardak province.

The family said that Stark, deployed as an Army bomb technician, was en route to disable an IED when another bomb detonated.

Mother Teresa Stark said her son left Dec. 1 for Afghanistan.

She spoke to him by phone just last week about the kind of work he was doing, and she remembers him chuckling.

“He said, ‘Mom, this is what I do. It’s just another day at the office. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I love what I’m doing.’ ”

Teresa Stark said she didn’t always like her son’s career choice, but she supported his decision to join an explosive ordinance disposal unit.

“You want your kids to be doing what they want to do, and to be happy. We all have to pick our own deal.”

Some said Christopher Stark wanted to be a soldier since high school.

Flags are flying at half-staff on the Monett High School campus and have been since March 1, when news of the recent graduate’s death reached the school.

“He was a great young man,” said Junior ROTC instructor John Marbut.

Marbut took his glasses off and rubbed glossy eyes as he spoke of Stark.

“I was pretty close to him,” he said.

Marbut said Stark was very involved with the JROTC program when it started about eight years ago.

Stark volunteered constantly, he said, wearing the uniform to sporting events, funerals and food drives.

“He always knew what he wanted to do,” said Deann Crockett, Stark’s former science teacher.

The Defense Department said Stark was a specialist in the 63rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 20th Support Command, Fort Polk, La.

Staff Sgt. Chauncy R. Mays, 25, of Cookville, Texas, also died in the attack.


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