Santa Rosa soldier killed in Afghanistan

May 28, 2008 11:56:24 PM PDT
A young man from Santa Rosa has become Sonoma County's first soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Twenty-one-year-old army specialist Christopher Gathercole was killed Monday.

Gathercole was in the Bay Area two months ago visiting friends and family.

Gathercole grew up in Santa Rosa and joined the Army after high school. He was a light weight machine gunner that according to the Army was killed by gunshot wounds he received in combat in Afghanistan.

Gathercole was in Special Forces, an Army ranger and elite group of soldiers within the U.S. Army. During his three years with the military, Gathercole was honored with several awards.

His brother says it was a huge accomplishment for a young man who had a troubled childhood. Gathercole lived in and out of Foster homes and his brother said it wasn't until he joined the military that he found a place that suited him.

"Part of his warrior spirit, you know and he was a part of an elite warrior class and he went out and fought like a warrior which is the greatest honor anyone could have on s physical level or even on a higher level, which he felt he was a part of," said Christopher's brother Edward Gathercole.

According to his brother, Gathercole considered the military the most elegant civic duty. He leaves behind not only a brother, but another father, grandmother and girlfriend.


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