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Army Staff Sgt. Christopher N. Hamlin

Died May 4, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of London, Ky.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 4 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations.

Kentucky soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

LONDON, Ky. — A soldier from southeastern Kentucky whose family said he had been scheduled to return home in March has died in Iraq after a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle.

Staff Sgt. Christopher N. Hamlin, 24, of London, had talked to his cousin, Brooke Hamlin, on the Internet the morning of the explosion, she said. He told her how he was looking forward to returning June 10.

“He said he had so many things to do,” she said.

Hamlin died Friday in Baghdad. Another soldier injured at the same time, Pfc. Larry I. Guyton, 22, of Brenham, Texas, died Saturday, the Defense Department said Monday.

They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Brooke Hamlin said her cousin talked in his last call home last week about where he wanted to be buried. He wanted to start a family burial plot at the home of his grandparents near London.

Hamlin was the only son of Autumn Hamlin of London and the only grandson of Thurman and Zola Hamlin.

“We're a small family, so it has hit us hard,” Brooke Hamlin said.

She said her cousin was “incredibly intelligent” and a free spirit.

John Hamlin of London, an uncle, said this was a second tour of duty in Iraq for Hamlin, who also had served in Kosovo.

He said his nephew loved military life and was considering re-enlisting when his obligation was up.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff. They will remain so until sunset the day of his funeral.

The London Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, which were incomplete Monday night.

A spokesman at Fort Hood said last night that the Army would not release any details about Hamlin until Tuesday.

Hamlin is the 56th Kentuckian to be killed in the war in Iraq.

Soldier from southeast Ky. remembered as ‘warrior’

The Associated Press

LONDON, Ky. — In a letter from Iraq last year, Staff Sgt. Christopher N. Hamlin urged his family to “Make every day count!”

“Appreciate every moment and take from it everything you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again,” Hamlin wrote.

Those thoughts were remembered Saturday as family and friends gathered to bury Hamlin, 24, who was killed in a bomb blast May 4 in Baghdad. He was buried in East Bernstadt after a funeral in his hometown of London, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported on its Web site.

He assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Brother Teddy Arthur of East Pittsburg Pentecostal Church told mourners during the funeral service that God calls men and women to fight the evil in the world and Hamlin answered God’s call.

“Remember him as a warrior in God’s service,” Arthur said.

Brig. Gen. Joseph Orr, the senior Army representative at the service, said Hamlin’s rapid advancement “speaks volumes about him as a professional noncommissioned officer.”

The Army awarded Hamlin the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service and the Purple Heart. Those citations will be added to 10 other medals and awards earned by Hamlin during more than six years in the military. His service included three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

The Rev. Gene Huff, retired pastor of First Pentecostal Church in London, said Hamlin’s writings show that his Pentecostal faith was strong and that he looked to God as his guide in life.

“Chris knew what it was to pray and to rely on God,” Huff said. “Prayer was a constant strength for him and we are grateful for that.”

Hamlin’s time in the military was spent defending those who cannot defend themselves, as the Bible calls on Christians to do, Huff said.

“We are indeed grateful for his life,” Huff said.

Hamlin is survived by his mother, Autumn Eve Hamlin of London; his father, Ronnie Veach of Saxton, and five half-sisters.

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