Bio of SSG Christopher W. Swanson:
Staff Sergeant Christopher W. Swanson was serving his third tour in Iraq when sniper fire killed him while he led his squad during combat patrol in Ramadi on July 22, 2006. Chris was 25 years old.
Chris was born February 11, 1981 and moved to Rose Haven in 1989 with his family. Chris attended Tracey’s Elementary, Southern Middle and Southern High School where he was Captain of the Soccer team and graduated in 1999. Chris loved his small piece of paradise here on the Chesapeake Bay. Many in the community hired him to do yard work or odds and ends work around their homes. He also worked at the marina during his high school, for 4 years. He enjoyed assisting the elderly in the community.
Chris was active in community sports programs, and played on teams with the UYC. Throughout his school years he played soccer, baseball, and basketball.
From the time he was born, he attended First Baptist Church of Upper Marlboro. He was active in the Youth Department and participated in mission work in the inner cities all over the United States. He participated in church plays and assisted with Vacation Bible School as part of the recreation team. Chris always had a smile on his face, leading people to wonder if he was just that good natured or up to something. .
He joined the Army right out of high school in 1999. Chris was offered a leadership appointment to West Point Military College, however he chose to enlist. After graduating from boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia he served as a rifleman with the 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He spent six months in Kosovo as part of a peace keeping mission, and was deployed for 10 months in the initial invasion of Iraq. Every time that he came home on leave he would make a point to let his friends know that he was still around by visiting the marina and high school.
In December 2003, he reported to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, of the 1st Armored Division located in Baumholder, Germany where he deployed for 14 months on his second tour. When on leave here, the first thing he did was head to Walter Reed to check on his wounded soldiers. In November 2005 he deployed for his third tour. In May 2006 his unit was sent to Ramadi, Iraq located in the Al Anbar Province. Chris was killed in action on July 22, 2006 during a combat patrol by a sniper in the Ta’meem district of Ramadi, Iraq. Several articles that have been published have quotes from General to enlisted men that have the resounding theme and state “That if there was ever a soldier’s soldier it was Chris. He, Chris was on the fast track and the sky was the limit.” At a ceremony in Germany, mourners stated “that if there was ever a soldier that was prepared for combat, it was Swanson. He was aggressive, determined, energetic but most of all competent”. Chris was buried at Arlington Cemetery with full military honors.