Spc. Christopher Andrew Landis, known as Drew, is remembered for his smile, sense of adventure and devotion to service.
When he died Feb. 10 at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan he was in his first deployment with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.
Spc. Landis, 27, died as the result of wounds from an attack with a rocket-propelled grenade while patrolling on foot in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.
Spc. Landis enlisted in the Army in 2011 after a year in law school, where one classmate remembered him as, "Drew of the eternal smile." In the Army he attended the Defense Language Institute to study Arabic, going on to train as a cryptologic linguist. His military honors included the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal.
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Before joining the Army, Spc. Landis had participated in a mission in India and traveled to Sumatra in 2005 to work on tsunami relief.
He grew up in Independence, Ky., roamed the outdoors with friends and siblings and developed a love for nature that led him into mountaineering.
He also played basketball and baseball. In online condolences, one teammate remembered his generous nature. "He worked hard and became one of our best pitchers. But a small part of me thought he always had a problem with striking guys out — cause that always meant you made the other guy sad at the same time."
Spc Landis was buried Saturday in Independence Cemetery. He is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.
We honor his service and mourn his loss.