A Granite City soldier died Aug. 12 of a non-combat-related injury in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur, 36, was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel at the time of his death. The incident is under investigation, according to a Department of Defense press release.
Wilbur was assigned to 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, in Fort Carson, Colo. Wilbur had served in the Army since June 8, 2005, and arrived at Fort Carson on Sept. 30, 2015.
“It is always hard to lose a part of our military family,” Fort Carson officials stated in an email from a military spokesperson. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Christopher Wilbur’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-12th District) issued the following statement:
“When we lose one of our brave heroes who died defending our freedoms, it impacts us all," Bost said. "Over the weekend, Southern Illinois lost a true patriot when Army Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur gave his life in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan. Tracy's and my prayers go out to his wife and two small children after the tragic loss of this 36-year-old. May God continue to bless those brave men and women who selflessly serve our country, both here and abroad.”
Wilbur was deployed to Iraq from Dec. 9, 2005, to Dec. 11, 2006, and Sept. 23, 2007, to Nov. 20, 2008; and Afghanistan Jan. 30, 2010, to Feb. 6, 2011; and February 2016 to Aug. 12, 2016.
His military occupational specialty was indirect fire infantryman, or member of the mortar squad.
His awards include four Army Commendation medals, two Army Achievement medals, four Army Good Conduct medals, a National Defense Service Medal, two Afghanistan Campaign medals with Campaign Star, an Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas ribbons, a NATO Medal, a Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, a Combat Infantryman Badge and an Air Assault Badge.