Tributes & Vigils Category: US Army
Name: Army Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Schornak
From: Hoover, Ala.
Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
Incident: Army Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Schornak was killed Feb. 26 when his dismounted patrol was engaged by enemy forces using small-arms fire in Baghdad.
Close to home: Fallen soldier’s life story gives war reporter new perspective
By Leon Alligood
I have written about 50 obituaries of service members killed in Iraq since fighting started there three years ago this month.
I did not know any of the dead personally. I never got the chance to shake their hands. Or listen to their life stories. Or watch them proudly hand over a photo of a loved one for me to see.
That changed with the death of Staff Sgt. Christopher Schornak, 28. He was killed by small-arms fire Feb. 26 as he led his squad on a patrol in Baghdad.
Schornak, formerly of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., had been assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, earlier this year.
I knew the man. Readers of my newspaper knew him, too.
Schornak’s wife, Robyn, was six months pregnant when her husband left for Iraq.
By the time we published a story…