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Army Spc. Christopher M. Talbert

Died July 7, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Galesburg, Ill.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, Marion, Ill.; died July 7 in Shindad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Worked as medic in civilian life, too

The Associated Press

Christopher M. Talbert enjoyed his work with the Illinois Army National Guard, so much that he volunteered outside of his home unit to deploy overseas.

“He loved Afghanistan,” said friend Ashley Lamb.

Talbert, 24, of Galesburg, Ill., died July 7 in Shindad, Afghanistan, of wounds caused when a bomb detonated. He was based in Marion, Ill.

He graduated from Galesburg Christian School in 2003 and joined the National Guard four years later as a combat medic. He had worked at Galesburg Cottage Hospital and completed training as an emergency medical technician.

It was serious work, but he found ways to laugh.

“He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed practical jokes and working on automobiles with his friends,” said Elisa Cecil, a family friend.

Another friend, Susan Powell, said he loved children and was “Uncle Chris” to her young daughter. She said Talbert didn’t answer when she asked why he wanted to join the Army, but believed he did it to “show everyone that he could do it. He wanted to turn his life around, and make his parents proud.”

He is survived by his parents, Terry and Amanda, and two brothers.

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