25 May 2009

this is pouring rain

This Memorial Day I am remembering Air Force Staff Sgt. Chris Frost. A combat journalist working for one of our subordinate commands in theatre, Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (MNSTC-I), Chris had essentially the same job I did; he facilitated responses to media queries, coordinated interviews/media visits in country, and covered the ongoing Iraqi-Coalition partnership (he got to do this far more often than I did). Reporters in Baghdad thought highly of him. He and I had corresponded through email for several months, mostly passing requests to each other as the reporters often contacted the wrong public affairs staff. I finally met him in person at a press conference in early 2008, where he suggested the group of us enlisted PAOs meet at the Green Bean inside the Embassy sometime for coffee and to swap stories.

A month or so later, I traveled to Landstuhl for a few days for an unexpected mission. I checked my email from my room the night before I was to return to Iraq and opened an email from a friend still in Baghdad. Chris had been killed in a helicopter accident along with 7 Iraqi airmen March 3.

He had one month left of his deployment. He was 24. 

Immediate Release
No. 0181-08
March 5, 208

DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Frost, 24, of Waukesha, WI., died March 3 near Bayji, Iraq in a crash of an Iraqi MI-17 helicopter. He was assigned to the 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M

You can see some of his photography and read his deployment blog here.

You're still in my thoughts, Chris. I'm so sorry.

"it's the sound of the unlocking
and the lift away"

- Bon Iver "Re: Stacks" -


Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to his family, unit and friend's. It's always a tragedy to hear this news. He served his country well, and died defending her. He will never be forgotten. My condolences to you.

Christina G-

Malibu Niki said...

Thanks Christina, I appreciate your support. And really, I mean it, please do let me know if I can help you out in any way. I was on Doug's side of a deployment, but I can't imagine what it must be like on your side.