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Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell
Died August 6, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
36, of Jacksonville, N.C.; assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team; died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.
Fallen SEAL remembered for determination, fearlessness
Staff and wire reports
Chris Campbell may have been physically slight, but family and friends said the Navy SEAL was always ready to take on a challenge.
His mother, Diane Campbell, told The Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., she remembered him and his older brother learning to ride a unicycle brought back from Okinawa as one example of her son’s determination.
“If Chris thought he could, he would try,” Diane Campbell said.
Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, died in the Aug. 6 crash.
Former high school football coach Jack Baile remembered Campbell showing he was up to a test when he tried out for the team as a smallish junior at about 5 foot-7 and 140 pounds.
“When kids come out for football for the first time, the first thing you’re worried about is, are they going to like to be hit, or want to be hit, and like to hit. That was not a problem with Chris. He had no fear with that,” Baile told The Associated Press.
“I remember hearing for the first time when he had joined the SEALs, I thought that kind of fits Chris. He didn’t have a lot of fear of things and I think he always wanted to try to prove to somebody that he could do things. He was an adventurous-type guy.”
Campbell’s work frequently sent him on missions out of the country, and his family asked few questions when he showed up with a full beard or arrived for a visit that could only last three hours. In an email to his daughter Samantha sent days before the crash, he wrote that he was looking forward to coming home in November and celebrating her 15th birthday in January.
Chris Campbell told his family that if he was killed in the line of duty, he wanted the local newspaper to write about his life and death, with a request for donations in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project. The project helps wounded service members recover from their war injuries.
Campbell enlisted in November 1996, according to the Navy. He graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL in Coronado, Calif., in February 1998.
Campbell served with a West Coast-based SEAL team until May 2004, when he reported to the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Detachment at Key West, Fla. He joined the East Coast-based SEAL team in February 2006.
His decorations include the Bronze Star with ‘V’ device for valor; Joint Service Achievement Commendation with ‘V’ device for valor; Army Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Commendation; three Good Conduct Medals; National Defense and Global War on Terrorism Service/Expeditionary Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal; four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; the Rifle Marksmanship Medal and Pistol Marksmanship Medal.
Pier at N.C. vet's home remembers fallen Navy SEAL
The Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - A new home for an injured Iraq War veteran will carry the memory of a Navy SEAL from North Carolina who was killed in action last year.
The Daily News of Jacksonville reports the pier named for fallen SEAL Chris Campbell is behind the Operation Finally Home house built for an injured vet.
Campbell grew up near the home, loved the water, and was a strong supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project to help injured war veterans. The project helps wounded service members recover from war injuries.
Campbell was among the 30 Americans killed when Taliban insurgents shot down a military helicopter in Afghanistan last summer as it was flying to a combat mission.