Service held for ‘Blackhawk’ brigade soldier
February 18, 2009
The members of Grafenwöhr, Germany’s 172nd Infantry Brigade came together at the post chapel Tuesday to remember one of their own.
Spc. Christopher P. Sweet, a "Black Knight" from Task Force 3-66 Armor, died Feb. 6 — on his 28th birthday — in Kirkush, Iraq. He died of noncombat-related injuries, and the circumstances are under investigation, Pentagon officials said last week.
Sweet was a native of Kahului, Hawaii. His death is the first the 172nd has suffered since deploying more than two months ago, said Capt. Justin Wegner, 172nd rear detachment executive officer.
Sweet enlisted just before his 25th birthday. After training to become a truck driver and a tour in South Korea, he joined the Blackhawk brigade, as the 172nd is known.
A memorial service also was held in Iraq on Feb. 10. Lt. Col. Eric Stetson, commander of 172nd’s rear detachment, repeated some of the words spoken previously by Sweet’s commander, Lt. Col. Louis B. Rago II.
"We will honor [Sweet] and his family by continuing the job we have begun and that we wish we could finish with him at our side," Stetson quoted Rago as saying.
In his own words, Stetson referred to Sweet as a "good soldier who got the job done for his team."
"Today we honor the memory of one of our own team that left us far too early and whom we respect because he served," Stetson said.
Others in the unit referred to Sweet as a "quality soldier" who was an inspiration and who will be missed by all the members of the task force.
Sweet is survived by his mother, Christina; his father, Peter; and his brother, Kyle Sweet.