Beloved Tucson soldier dies from combat injuries

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By courtesy U.S. Army By courtesy U.S. Army
By courtesy Arizona Athletics By courtesy Arizona Athletics

TUCSON -- He turned down representing a university on the ball field, for representing his country on the battlefield.  And Tuesday morning, former Tucson High School baseball star Spc. Chris Moon died from injuries he received in combat while serving in Afghanistan.

A son, a friend, a teammate, a baseball star and a soldier. Those are just some of the words people use to describe Chris Moon.

"You look at all the things that had happened in the last few days and you just and all I can think about is truthfully just what he was the abundance of energy we know him for," says Tucson High School Athletic Director Gary Lewis

Spc. Christopher Moon, an infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team was wounded by a roadside bomb July 6.  He was being treated at a hospital in Germany after doctors amputated both of his legs, but Tuesday morning he died from his wounds.

"It was the most difficult thing I have had to face as a coach. That was my worst fear," says Tucson High School Baseball Coach Oscar Romero.

"I was driving in when Oscar texted me. As I said to a couple of people, I will not remove that text message from my phone," says University Baseball Coach Andy Lopez.

"So when we got the word that he passed obviously it was devastating," says AD Lewis.

During his career as a soldier, Moon acquired a long list of awards and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

"Spc. Moon was the type of person we have all heard of but have very seldom ever met," said 1st Sgt. Derek Gondek, Moon's company first sergeant. "He was one of those men who no matter what he put his mind to he became a star at it, whether it was on the baseball field or on the battlefield.  He will truly be missed by his fellow war-fighters."

During his four years at Tucson high, Moon was considered one of southern Arizona's top baseball players.  "He was probably as far as I am concerned one of the better players we've had this decade and we've had some pretty good ones," says Coach Romero.

Before enlisting in the military, Moon was named the 2006 Southern Arizona Baseball Player of the Year.

He had a full ride to the U of A to play baseball, however Chris felt a calling to serve his country.

"I could tell by his conviction and his heart and tone of voice and language that he really had that in his mind," recalls Coach Lopez.

"So it really sets your mind back when a kids decide to join the arm services and and serve his country its something special," says AD Lewis.

Not only was Chris Moon a baseball star. He was also a great person off the field. "He was never a negative in any part of the game 'Whatever you need to do coach I'll get it done,'" says Coach Romero.

Chris Moon will never be forgotten by family, friends or teammates.

Moon was 22-years-old.

He is survived by his parents Brian and Marsha Moon.

A memorial in Moon's honor will be held in Afghanistan.