Army SSG Christopher Wilbur, 36, of Granite City, Illinois, died of a non combat related injury in Kandahar, Afghanistan on August 12, 2016. SSG Wilbur was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. SSG Wilbur was in the Army for eleven (11) years and was on his fourth wartime deployment when he died. According to the Department of Defense press release, the incident was under investigation at the time of reporting. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch reported SSG Wilbur installed drywall before joining the Army in 2005; he served two tours in Iraq and died during his second tour in Afghanistan.
SSG Wilbur was known in Army circles as a friendly leader who instilled discipline in his troops. Wilbur was described as a history buff and avid reader who also enjoyed camping, hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, fishing, playing chess and rooting for the Cardinals. At the funeral service, those who spoke said Wilbur’s family was most important to him. They described Wilbur and his wife as soulmates who had their own love language; the couple was known to say they shared the same brain. The couple have two children together. The outcome of the investigation and official cause of death are unknown, although a public affairs officer stated once the investigation was concluded, the findings would be shared with SSG Wilbur’s family.
“Lt. Col. Don Korpi chief of public affairs and community relations for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said the death investigation is ongoing and a final report has not yet been completed. ‘We can reaffirm that his death appears to be non-combat related and did occur on the airfield,’ he said. ‘Any specific details on his location and his mission on the base other than to say he was stationed and present at the Airfield at the time of his death would not be appropriate.’ Once completed, he said, the findings of the investigation would be shared with Wilbur’s family.” –STL Today (August 25, 2016)
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Fort Carson Army Sergeant killed
Fort Carson army sergeant killed in Afghanistan incident
Army sergeant from Illinois killed in Afghanistan incident
4th ID soldier dies of noncombat injury in Kandahar
Fort Carson Army sergeant Christopher Wilbur of Illinois killed in Afghanistan incident
Bost Issues Statement on Death of Granite City Native in Afghanistan
Dept. of Defense investigating death of Granite City soldier
Body of Granite City soldier returns home
Body Of Fallen Illinois Soldier Returned To Family
Army Staff Sgt. Wilbur eulogized in Granite City after dying in Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur will get Army memorial today
Staff Sgt. Christopher Wilbur remembered at Fort Carson service
Fort Carson To Hold Memorial For Soldier Killed In Afghanistan
SSG Christopher Wilbur, U.S. Army | Freedom Isn’t Free | Facebook
Editor’s view: What about our military personnel?
Illinois military deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan since 9/11