By Capt. Kymberly Koenig, 1st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
Soldiers and leaders gathered with heavy hearts in the Enduring Faith Chapel, June 3, 2013 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to honor Spc. Christopher Rashawn Drake, 1084th Transportation Company, 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 139th Regional Support Group, Reserve, La.
He was killed May 26 of injuries sustained after a rocket propelled grenade hit his vehicle in the Wardak Province. At the time, Drake was serving under the 157th CSSB, 1st Sustainment Brigade, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Drake, 20, of Tickfaw, La., joined the Louisiana National Guard in September 2011 as a motor transport operator. He attended basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., followed by Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
“Boisterous, enthusiastic, good humored and outgoing are just a few of the characteristics that describe Christopher Rashawn Drake,” said Capt. Anthony Garrison, commander, 1084th Trans. Co. “A few more characteristics that describe Spc. Drake are dedicated, selfless, hardworking and committed. Once you combine the two, both person and Soldier, you then have someone whom we, the 1084th Trans. Co., have come to love, respect and honor,” he added.
Spc. Elijah Roberts, a friend of Drake’s explained, “His mission was to bring laughter and life to every individual he came in contact with. He displayed personal courage and often showed resiliency as opposition, both personal and professional, came his way.”
“Even though he could be loud at times, or found the smallest object humorous, he never failed to keep those around him entertained,” shared Pvt. Gabriel Brewer. “As a member of our unit, he never complained about the tasks that were given to him. He was a great gunner and was skilled and proficient with his weapon.”
On all previous missions, Drake, the primary gunner for the vehicle, allowed other troops to take the gunner’s seat, without hesitation. However, knowing that the areas they were traveling through were considered a named area of interest, he refused to relinquish his gunner’s seat during his final mission. He was a Soldier willing to sacrifice for his fellow comrades, explained Garrison.
“The trials and tribulations of being a Soldier are numerous in nature, but so are the rewards. Our job is hard. Our mission is dangerous. Our sacrifices are many, but we are resilient,” added Garrison. “We stand united together and we shout in one unified voice that although we have lost a brother, we are still many. Although one light has been extinguished, we shall in turn burn brighter.”
“His loyalty to his friends and love for family made him who he was, on and off the battlefield. It is my deepest belief that Drake accomplished his mission, personal and professional; to be who God purposed him to be,” added Roberts. “He will be deeply missed and loved by all. Mission complete.”
Drake was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge for his service in Afghanistan.