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Army Spc. Christopher L. Hoskins

Died June 21, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Danielson, Conn.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; killed June 21 when his unit was conducting combat operations and was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire in Ramadi, Iraq.

Fallen Conn. soldier remembered as caring

Associated Press

KILLINGLY, Conn. — The last time Spc. Christopher Hoskins visited his family, he told his mother what he would want if he died.

Now, after military officials knocked on her door last Wednesday to tell her that her son was killed in Iraq, Claudia Hoskins must carry those wishes out.

“I have no regrets about those conversations,” Hoskins said Saturday, as she told reporters about her son’s life. “It helped me know as a mother what he wanted.”

But, she added: “It feels like your heart’s been ripped out.”

Hoskins entered the military because he wanted to be there, his family said. Army officials said he died Tuesday in Ramadi, Iraq, when his unit came under small-arms fire. Another soldier in his Fort Carson, Colo.-based unit also died.

When he came home for a 15-day visit in January, his mother said, she noticed a bond between him and his fellow soldiers. She found him scrolling through pictures of his military friends on the Internet, and he put together packages of magazines and junk food to send the members of the 2nd Infantry Division while he was away.

It was a camaraderie he had never experienced before, his mother said.

“I thought, ‘Here’s my young man who is a young man among men,”’ she said.

The 21-year-old graduated from Killingly High School, where he competed on the wrestling team. He also loved karate, soccer and baseball, his sister said. He was quiet, passionate about his circle of close friends, but full of energy.

“He wasn’t just active, he was dangerous to the rest of us,” said his sister, Kristin Mayo, laughing.

But what truly stood out was his generosity, his family said. When he was only ten months old and had just learned to walk, his mother discovered him watering her plants. In Iraq, he shared extra toiletries with Iraqi civilians, his mother said.

He told his family when he was home that he wanted any donations to go to Killingly High School. He wanted the money used for assistive technology because his brother, 15-year-old Sean, is a special-needs student, his family said. He also loved art, and wanted the school’s art department to be able to upgrade their software.

The phone at the Hoskins home has been ringing constantly, his family said. His body is expected to come back to Connecticut, and burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery.

“He died doing what he wanted to do,” said Mayo.

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