Fallen 'Dagger' Soldier Remembered
(July 3, 2010)
|June 30, 2010 -- Family members and comrades in arms
gathered for a memorial ceremony at Morris Hill Chapel on
Fort Riley June 29 to mourn the passing and honor the life
of Spc. Christopher Michael Mutton, Co. F, 1st Battalion,
18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st
Mutton, a native of Goldendale, Wash., died June 23 from
injuries sustained in a Humvee rollover accident while
conducting training on Fort Riley. An investigation into the
accident is ongoing.
Mutton was remembered as being an exceptionally selfless and
enthusiastic individual by both his commanders and peers.
“I've learned from his parents and battle buddies that Chris
was the epitome of selfless service,” said Lt. Col. John
Cross, commander, 1st Bn., 18th Inf. Regt. “He was always
more concerned about the welfare of others, and looking
after those who needed his help.”
Mutton entered the Army in August 2008 and arrived at Fort
Riley in September 2009 after completing Basic Combat
Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and Advanced Individual
Training at Fort Knox, Ky.
“The first time I met Chris, he was a nervous private
straight out of AIT, where I'm sure none of his peers was
higher-ranking than private first class,” said Cpl. Casey
Patrick, who gave the soldier tribute at the memorial
“I had a great expectation and respect for Chris, because of
his attitude and work ethic,” Patrick said. “You never had
to tell him more than once to do something, and he would
never give up on anything.”
During his time in the Army, Mutton attended the Combat
Lifesaver Course, and was awarded several awards and
decorations, including the Army Commendation Medal, the
National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal,
the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service
Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.
In addition to being a selfless and hardworking soldier,
Mutton was remembered as someone who never shied away from
“Whether he was driving, gunning, or serving as a truck
commander, Spc. Mutton was always there, ready to serve,”
Patrick agreed, and like Cross, praised Mutton's willingness
to put himself in harm's way to accomplish the mission.
“He was always the first to volunteer to go where the action
was,” he said, though he jokingly added that after returning
from such dangerous missions, Mutton would sometimes “strut
around like Alexander the Great back from dominating a
Middle Eastern empire.”
Mutton set an example by his attitude and actions, said
“He was a soldier that had the mentality all Americans
should have,” he said. “He didn't just do his job because he
was told to, he did it for his family and he did it for his
Mutton is survived by his father Micheal Mutton, stepmother
Debbie Mutton, mother Zenda O'Shea, stepfather James O'Shea,
and step-sister Ashley Smith.
Many members of his family were in attendance at the
ceremony, and were recognized for their role in raising
Christopher into the person he became.
“I know Chris' selflessness and concern for others are
traits he received from your examples,” Cross said to
Mutton's assembled friends and family.
As the battalion moves forward with its training for its
next deployment, it is important to maintain Mutton's memory
as an inspiration, both Cross and Patrick urged.
“We must depart here today resolved to honor the life of Spc.
Mutton,” said Cross. “We will do this by dedicating
ourselves to the example of selfless service he
demonstrated, and renewing our dedication to the standards
and discipline synonymous with Falcon Company and Vanguard
Patrick said a final farewell to his fallen friend, using
the motto of the Vanguard Battalion.
“We are going to miss you, Spc. Mutton, and you will always
be in our memory,” he said solemnly. “To the last round!”
By Army Spc. Daniel Stoutamire
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public
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