Captain Christopher P. Petty
United States Army

     In the early morning hours of  Monday, 5 January, 2006, Captain Christopher Petty was killed in action in Iraq, while commanding a convoy from Baghdad to Karbala.  As they  neared An Najaf, a roadside bomb planted by insurgents detonated as Captain Petty's armored Humvee passed, killing all  five soldiers on board.

      He was just weeks into his second deployment in Iraq, a duty he volunteered for from his deep sense of patriotism and dedication to his soldiers.  While in command of his unit, Captain Petty proudly served his country, placing his life on the line to protect the soldiers under his command and to bring peace and stability to the country of Iraq.

      Captain Petty was a Point of Contact for The Ships Project and our first POC to be killed in action.  We grieve with his family for the loss of a good man and a brave soldier.


   "Greater love hath no man than this, that he give up his life for his friends."

        This we know for certain.  Chris was in harm's way out of dedication to his comrades and soldiers.  He loved his family deeply.  But he also loved his troops and, after he took command of the Headquarters Battery, despite his frustrations with the army and a full awareness of what was right and wrong about Iraq, there was absolutely no question in his mind that he had to go back with his soldiers for the second deployment.  He would never expect them to do anything that he wouldn't do himself.  He was a professional in every sense of the word, as were his men.  Their dedication to their mission and to each other was unswerving.  Those of us who have never been in combat do not know of the kind of bonds which develop among fellow soldiers.  And though my heart ached to see him go for a second time, I could never bring myself to pressure him not to do what he did.  I know his wife feels the same way.  It was his choice as it is the choice of all of our soldiers.  The level of dedication and selflessness among them is unequaled and almost unfathomable in our society.

                             ~ Paul Petty, Captain Chris Petty's Father.



      Chris is the first member of our family to die in combat since W.W.II.  He is survived by a Grandfather who served in that war and an Uncle who served in Vietnam.  We grieve!  Oh, how we grieve for him!  And for his wife, Deb, his 3 year old son, Oliver, and his less than three month old son, Owen, who will never know his sweet Daddy.  God rest his soul.

       Chris asked to be buried in Arlington, should the worst happen.  He liked the dignity of military ceremony and took the rituals seriously.  I am sure he thought they would comfort us and in some small way demonstrate the appreciation of the nation to his grieving family and friends.  We will do our best to see that his wishes are honored and to honor his memory in our lives.

 ~ Paul Petty, Captain Chris Petty's Father