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Old 16 December 2021, 08:41
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agonyea agonyea is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bama Country
Posts: 2,444
SFC Celiz

On July 12th, 2018, while assigned to the 1/75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Celiz led an operation to clear an area of enemy forces in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan. When a large group of enemy fighters attacked, SFC Celiz voluntarily exposed himself to intense machine gun and small arms fire to retrieve and employ a heavy weapon system, thereby allowing his team to regain the initiative, maneuver to a secure location and begin treatment of a critically wounded partnered force member. As the medevac helicopter made itís approach, it was immediately engaged by accurate and sustained enemy fire. Knowing how critical it was to quickly load the casualty, Chris willingly exposed himself to heavy and effective enemy gunfire to direct and lead the evacuation. He made a conscious effort to ensure his body acted as a physical shield to his team carrying the casualty, as well as the crew of the aircraft. Once the casualty was loaded and his team returned to cover, Chris remained alone at the base of the aircraft, returning a high volume of rifle fire and constantly repositioning himself to protect the helicopter and its crew. SFC Celiz then placed himself directly between the cockpit and the enemy, ensuring the aircraft was able to depart. Just as the helicopter lifted off, Chris was struck by enemy gunfire. Fully aware of his own mortal injury, but understanding the peril to the aircraft from the intense enemy machine gun fire, SFC Celiz motioned to the helicopter to depart rather than remain to load him. His selfless actions saved the life of the evacuated partnered force member and almost certainly prevented further casualties among other members of his team and the aircrew. Chris died from his wounds a short time later. Sergeant First Class Christopher Celiz was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for valor, which after 3 1/2 years, was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
Chris was a national treasure who led his Rangers with passion, competence, and an infectiously positive attitude no matter the situation. SFC Celiz was remembered as a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was 32-years old at the time of his death.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with those poor timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt 1899
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