|From Portland Oregon, The
No. 100: Bomb kills Army sergeant from Hillsboro
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
DAVID AUSTIN and JULIE SULLIVAN
A 35-year-old Army sergeant from Hillsboro died Sunday, becoming the 100th member of the U.S. military with ties to Oregon or southwest Washington to perish in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Dale Henderson was one of three U.S. soldiers to die in Panjway in Kandahar province when the Humvee they were in clipped an IED and blew apart, said his father, Jim Henderson of Hillsboro. An Afghan interpreter working alongside the soldiers also died.
More than 100 people, including civilians, police and insurgents, have died in Afghanistan since Friday as fierce fighting has broken out across parts of the country.
According to family and military officials, Henderson is survived by his wife, Jennifer; daughter, 8-year-old Kayley; mother, Cindy Henderson of Cornelius; sister, Athena Gordon; and father, Jim.
Henderson was based out of Fort Lewis, Wash., but had been assigned to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Phoenix. He was part of the I Corps military training team that was set up to train the Afghan National Army.
Jim Henderson said his son and daughter were twins, born May 18, 1972, in Klamath Falls. The family moved to Hillsboro, where the children attended school.
Christopher Henderson went to Glencoe High School where he competed in track and field events, his father said. While in high school, military recruiters talked to him about a possible career in the Army. It wasn't a hard sell, especially because Jim Henderson had been in the Army, serving at Fort Lewis and Fort Knox, Ky.
Jennifer Henderson said her husband was a "very good husband and a very good father. He loved his job completely and was a hero to a number of people."
Jim Henderson described his son as someone who was "very well organized."
"If you could find a way to say 'neat freak' without saying neat freak, that would describe him," Henderson said.
Jennifer Henderson agreed. "Things are never clean enough for him," she added. "If it was clean, it wasn't enough for him. It had to be done right."
Christopher Henderson was known for being well-liked in school. He was close to his sister and liked to spend time with his family.
It wasn't uncommon for the family to take a trip to a local gun club and practice trap shooting. "They showed an interest early on and we just went out as a family," Jim Henderson said.
Once Christopher Henderson entered the Army, he quickly rose through the ranks. He attended Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga. Then he attended air assault school at Ft. Campbell, Ky. He then went to school to become a drill sergeant at Fort Jackson, S.C.
He was deployed to Florida during one of the hard-hitting hurricanes in the early 1990s and he also policed the streets in Panama City, his father said.
He also was deployed to Kuwait for a tour, as well as Egypt, Kosovo and Bosnia, and had been sent to Afghanistan in January of this year. He was scheduled to have a leave in August before winding up his tour in February 2008, Jim Henderson said.