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Army Staff Sgt. Lance M. Chase

Died January 23, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

32, of Oklahoma City, Okla.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Jan. 23 of wounds sustained that day when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M1A2 Abrams tank during patrol operations in Baghdad. Also killed was Pfc. Peter D. Wagler.

Mourners remember Okla. soldier

Associated Press

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. — Relatives and friends bid farewell Thursday to an Oklahoma City soldier who was remembered for his courage and dedication to family.

Mourners filled Meadowood Baptist Church for the funeral of Staff Sgt. Lance Michael Chase, 32.

Chase died Jan. 23 after a mine exploded near his tank while on patrol in Baghdad.

Music chosen by his relatives highlighted Chase’s funeral, from Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” a song about living life to the fullest, to Tommy Shane Steiner’s “What If She Is An Angel,” a Chase used to sing to his son Trevor, 9. He also had an 11-year-old son, Brett.

Those songs were among nine selected for a ceremony that included a uniformed contingent from the military and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department. Chase’s father, Mike, has been a reserve deputy for more than 20 years.

Pastor Bob Rutherford called Chase a hero for his willingness to risk his life for others.

Chase, who had been a soldier for more than a decade, didn’t like to be away from his family but was honored to help the people of Iraq, Rutherford said.

After Chase started his second tour of duty, he noted improvements in the country.

“It wasn’t just a job for him,” Rutherford said. “He said, ‘These people need what we’re doing.”’

Rutherford said Chase’s life was characterized by his love for his family.

Chase visited his grandmother before he left for Iraq just so he could tell her he loved her, the pastor said. He talked to his wife, Kristen, via the Internet before his final patrol.

Rutherford thanked Chase for deciding to join the Army and standing up for others.

“Your life, young man, will always be an inspiration to me,” he said.

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