Twenty-five year old Marine Cpl Christopher Monahan, Jr died in Helmand Province in combat operations. The young soldier hailed from Island Heights, New Jersey. The Marine had completed two tours of duty in Iraq and had been in Afghanistan just this year. He has seen combat every year of the last five years.
He was due to come home in just two months.
NJ.com wrote about Monahan:
Marine Cpl. Christopher Monahan Jr. was the guy everybody looked up to. The oldest of three siblings, he was a guiding light for his mother and a role model for his three young children, family members said.
"In school, his teachers just loved him," his mother, Sandy Monahan, said tonight. "He had no problems in classes. He played sports and volunteered for everything. He just did everything for everybody."
After graduating from Central Regional High School in Bayville in 2005, Monahan and a friend enlisted in the Marines. His father had served in the National Guard and Chris wanted to serve his country, too, his mother said. In fact, she said, Chris dreamed of making the military his career.
That dream ended on Monday when Monahan, 25, of Ocean Gate, was killed in Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, the truck in which he was riding struck an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province. His mother said she was told her son was riding in the turret of the lead vehicle in a convoy of 27.
Monahan is at least the 48th service member with ties to New Jersey to die in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001. In addition, 102 service members from New Jersey have died in Iraq since 2003.
Sandy Monahan said she last spoke to her son on Saturday and, although he wouldn’t be able to come home for Christmas, his deployment would be ending in a little over two months.
"He was definitely excited to be coming home. He had one more holiday to miss," his mother said. "He was going to be home in 73 days and had already started the countdown."