Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Christopher I Walz

Vancouver, Washington

October 27, 2009

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Army Pfc

1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division

Fort Lewis, Washington

 Killed in Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

Welcoming Home Our Hero, Click photo below

November 12, 2009

For Memorial Service Snapshots, Click photo below

November 14, 2009

Bench Dedication, Click photo below:

November 6, 2015

From The Columbian columbian.com 10/28/09:

Vancouver soldier killed in Afghanistan
2002 Hudson's Bay graduate was one of 8 Fort Lewis soldiers killed

2002 Hudson's Bay graduate was one of 8 Fort Lewis soldiers killed
By John Branton and Dave Kern
Columbian staff writers
Pfc. Ian Walz, a Vancouver man who was thrilled when Barack Obama was elected president, was killed Tuesday along with six other soldiers in an improvised explosive attack in southern Afghanistan.

An eighth American was killed in a separate attack.

Wednesday night, Obama personally offered condolences to Walz' relatives at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. All eight soldiers had been based at Fort Lewis.

Family members said Walz played football at Hudson's Bay High School and had worked for years in the produce section of the WinCo store in Hazel Dell. He graduated from Bay in 2002.

Walz, 25, was part of the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division out of Fort Lewis.

His aunt, Carla Burns of Vancouver, said Walz was deployed to Afghanistan in July, had come home on leave recently, and had been back to Afghanistan for only about 10 days.

"He was a sweet kid, always had a smile on his face," Burns said. "He would do anything for anybody to help them."

She said Walz also graduated from Clark College.

Asked why he joined the Army, Burns said, "I think this was a way to pay for college. He was very excited about going, though.

"He was excited that he got stationed at Fort Lewis so he could be close to home."

Burns said Walz' mother, Victoria Walz, a nurse, and other relatives were in Delaware to claim remains. Relatives believe Walz' body will be brought by jet to Vancouver's Pearson Field today.

Walz' given name was Christopher, but he went by Ian.

Friends and family members in Vancouver on Wednesday night said Walz was a fun-loving man but also serious, with hopes to study political science at a university, possibly Washington State University Vancouver, when he returned from the fighting.

"He really wanted to be a teacher," or possibly a police officer, said Madeline DaMore, 22, who said she was his fiancée. "A lot of people cared about him," she said.

She added: "He wanted to go to school and become something useful. He wanted to make a difference in the world."

She said Walz often watched CNN and enjoyed reading history.

"He was really excited when Obama was elected president," DaMore added. "He just really agreed with his views. He always wanted to meet Obama."

"He had the most wonderful sense of humor," said a cousin, Kim Goldfinch, who grew up with him in Vancouver. "His laugh was a classic, loud."

Once when Walz was home on leave, he bought an Army suit for her son, Mason, 6, Goldfinch said.

The boy, she said, "was just excited. He didn't take it off for a good week."

Goldfinch said she'd spoken with Victoria Walz, who said, "At first, she couldn't cry or anything. She was just really angry."

Walz had said several times that he wasn't afraid of going to war or dying, DaMore said.

But shortly before Walz left on his last mission, he spoke with a friend, Ayron Nassen, said another friend, Jennifer Myers, 22.

"Ayron said it was the first time he'd ever heard Ian sound scared, about going on this six-day mission," Myers said.

The attacks Tuesday pushed the American death toll to a record monthly level for the third time in four months, according to the Associated Press.

Both attacks took place in the southern province of Kandahar, said Capt. Adam Weece, a spokesman for American forces in the south. The region bordering the Pakistan frontier is an insurgent stronghold and was the birthplace of the Taliban in the 1990s.

The soldiers were patrolling in armored vehicles when a roadside bomb ripped through one of them, killing seven soldiers and an Afghan civilian, U.S. forces spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician said.

An eighth American died in a separate bombing elsewhere in the south, also while patrolling in a military vehicle.

The casualties bring to 55 the total number of Americans killed in October in Afghanistan. The next highest toll was in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died and the troubled nation held the first round of its presidential election amid a wave of violence.

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