1LT Christopher Goeke, USMA 2008, KIA

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Momof2cadets, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Momof2cadets

    Momof2cadets Founding Member

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    In Afghanistan yesterday 1LT Christopher Goeke, USMA 2008, became the third of my son's classmates to make the ultimate sacrifice. Please reread ScoutPilots posts about his friend Paul, and seriously consider what being a part of the West Point community really means. As a parent I would also ask that each of you with a son or daughter speak with them about this, as it is something that you will also have to come to terms with. Chris you will be missed by many, be thou at peace.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Sadly, it happens. I keep hoping my class is done dying, but in some ways the dangers never end. Many young men and women will continue to man the ramparts at the outposts of freedom for the sake of others.

    Grip hands.
     
  3. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Very sad news.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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  5. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    1LT Goeke

    He is home with our lord and Savior Jesur Christ, Thanks for defending freedom and paying the biggest price. Your Life.

    My blessings go to his classmates and his entire family,

    RGK
     
  6. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    My thoughts and prayers will go out to this family tonight. God Bless him and them for his service to this country.
     
  7. Momof2cadets

    Momof2cadets Founding Member

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    Chris will be honored tomorrow, and laid to rest on Monday The visitation and funeral service will be held on Sunday, July 25th at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (see address below). Visitation will be from 3-5pm and the service will follow. A private burial will be held the following day.
    Prince of Peace Lutheran Church13901 Fairview Dr.Burnsville, Minnesota 55337

    His friends and family began a facebook page to honor him:

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=137656902922551&ref=ts
     
  8. Momof2cadets

    Momof2cadets Founding Member

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    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/of-friends-and-fighters/?ref=world



    July 23, 2010, 1:30 pm
    Of Friends and Fighters
    By RAJIV SRINIVASAN

    Courtesy of Rajiv Srinivasan

    West Point isn’t the most natural environment for a kid like me: a chubby, Indian-born, vegetarian Hindu. Sometimes, I join my friends and family in marveling how on earth I ended up there, perhaps more so how I made it through. But when considering the recipe to my success at the academy, my heart finds the key ingredient in people like First Lt. Christopher Geoke. Then Cadet Geoke, Chris was my dear friend, my West Point classmate, and my polar opposite.

    Whereas I was chubby and out of shape, Chris was a physical beast. I was only an average cadet in terms of military discipline, but Chris’s military rank was among the highest in the class. I did well academically, but always needed to work twice as hard to get half as far as Chris did. I came from a relatively stable and healthy home life; Chris didn’t. And through his life’s challenges, Chris discovered his personal relationship with God and served as one of his finest Christian servants.

    We first met as students at the Air Assault School in Fort Drum, N.Y. Chris was a machine, and I latched onto him thinking his natural aptitude for anything “Army” could contagiously spread through my nerves as well. Chris took me under his wing. He helped me study for our sling-load tests. He helped pack my ruck-sack for our 12-mile road march. And in the silence of night, sitting on the front porch of our barracks, Chris taught me to embrace my spiritual identity. He carried a Bible wherever he went. This was a natural turn-off for me as my childhood experiences with proselytizing predators showed me that I’d never live in religious harmony with a Christian-dominated environment.

    But Chris was different. He never asked me if I was ready to embrace Jesus as my personal savior. Rather, he asked relentlessly about the details of Hinduism. His eyes were wide and attentive, reading the body language accompanied with my responses. He wanted to know what made me tick. He wanted to understand what it was like in my shoes.

    In doing so, he showed me that beliefs themselves are rarely the source of animosity or friction between people, or between societies. The enemy I faced as a Hindu, and the enemy we face as a nation, was not any religion or belief system, but an extremist approach thereof. It wasn’t until speaking with Chris that summer that I truly started appreciating, not hiding, my spiritual values.

    My friendship with Chris continued through our years at the academy, through graduation, and training at Fort Benning, Ga. But our next reunion occurred at a remote outpost in the middle of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan.

    Chris and I were both leading platoons in a harrowing fight, but upon seeing each other, our tense expressions released into warm smiles and we indulged in a quick reminiscence of our paths, playfully considering the question, “How the heck did we end up here?”

    I recalled those talks Chris and I had about mixing the oil and water of disparate faiths many years ago. By teaching me to reconcile my faith with my Christian surroundings, Chris helped me understand how to connect with Muslim Afghan soldiers on their spiritual motivations. I used Chris’s lessons to educate my own soldiers on distinguishing our enemy as an extremist view of Islam, not Islam itself. I wish I had told him that. I wish I told him how he made me a better counterinsurgency platoon leader, a better person. He deserved to hear it.

    Just under 12 months later, after daily firefights, RPG attacks and a few dodged I.E.D.’s, I stood in the Bangor, Me., airport on a beautiful July afternoon; my first moments on American soil after a grueling tour in Kandahar’s Zhari district. I should have felt elated. I should have been smiling. But any sensation of accomplishment was quickly stalled when I heard the news.

    About the time I was flying over Eastern Europe on my way home, Chris had been killed in action in Kandahar by Taliban insurgents. My skin grew cold and I shoved my hands in my pockets. A wave of heavy silences flooded through the terminal.

    I was tired, exhausted. I wanted to go home. I was ready to finally close this chapter of my life and return to my loving family and friends. But no matter how far away I am from the battlefield, the fight is still not over for me; not when my brothers are in harm’s way. Not when good men like Chris Geoke, who was 23 when he died, are fighting in my stead. The boarding call sounded for our plane back home.

    The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense or the United States government. If you are an active-duty service member and would like to submit a post, please e-mail us at AtWar@nytimes.com.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Thank you for passing that along, Momof2cadets. Such a lovely tribute.
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Haha! No kidding...I remember Rajiv and Chris. When I did Air Assault as a 1LT (Light Fighters School, Fort Drum), they were in my class. Class 06-02. They and a few other guys bolo'd at Camp Smith and got sent up to finish with us. The other cadets called Rajiv "Doctor" because he's Indian and, well...you get the joke. Great kid, and I'm not surprised he writes so well.

    I don't really remember Chris too well. But I have some pictures somewhere. He was one of four guys...Srinivasan, Goeke, Ball (whose dad was my BDE CDR later) and a fourth guy whose name escapes me. Good kids, and they all got their wings.

    It's a very small Army. as Rajiv's piece shows, we often see the same people over and over.

    Terrible that it had to end this way. You'll note he was assigned to my friend Paul's sister battalion. Those boys are in a hard fight.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  11. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    God bless them all.
     

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