Staff Sergeant Christopher M. Falkel, 22, of Littleton, CO, was born on September 24, 1982. He died on August 8, 2005, in Deh Afghan, Afghanistan, when his unit was conducting combat operations and was engaged by enemy forces using small arms fire. Falkel was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Chris was born in Boston, MA. He lived in Athens, Ohio from 1984 to 1990 and then moved to Littleton, CO. Chris attended Northridge Elementary School, Cresthill Middle School and graduated from Thunder Ridge High School in 2001.

Chris enlisted in the Army on October 25, 2001. He was stationed at Fort Benning, GA, for his basic training and his Advanced Infantry Training (AIT). He graduated AIT in March, 2002. He went on to attend Airborne School at Fort Benning before being assigned to Fort Bragg, NC, where he was a member of the fourth class of the Special Operations Preparatory Course.

In June 2002, he completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course and assigned to the Special Forces Qualification Course. He graduated May 21, 2003. After finishing his Arabic Language course and SERE training, he was assigned to Operational Detachment, Alpha 316, Company A, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a weapons sergeant (18B).

He was promoted to staff sergeant on November 1, 2004. His schooling in Special Forces included Blackwater Combat Marksmanship Course, Gryphon Group Force Protection Course, Mid-South Self Defense Institute, SFARTAETC and his favorite course, the one he was most proud of, Special Operations Target Interdiction Course.

His first overseas deployment came in February, 2004, to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His second deployment was also to Afghanistan in June, 2005, and he was killed in action there on August 8, 2005. He was later buried at Arlington National Cemetery on August 22, 2005.

Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Falkel's awards include: the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Special Forces Tab.

His parents, Jeffrey and Dianne Falkel, released a statement after their son's death. "Two parents could not be more proud of their son," the statement said. "He was very, very special and dedicated and considered it an honor to serve his country." He is also dearly missed by his brother Tim.

Christopher Falkel's best friend and childhood neighbor, Matthew Sahagun, told the Rocky Mountain News that Falkel was the epitome of a tough, principled soldier. "Chris was a warrior," Sahagun said Wednesday. "Since an early age he always had it in him. He was brave beyond belief and always by your side if you needed him." Sahagun said Falkel's other interests included snowboarding and driving fast in his 1993 Acura Integra. "The only thing that ticked me off about him — he was always better than me," Sahagun said with a smile, himself a member of the Marine Corps.

The Falkel Family has chosen to support Michael Reagan's Fallen Heroes Project through Dog Tag Legacy Fund. Their mission is to honor American Fallen Heroes for their ultimate sacrifice during the war against terrorism. The foundation provides the resources to produce and distribute to each family a hand-drawn portrait of their Fallen Hero, created by artist Michael G. Reagan, free of charge. Each portrait intends to show the love and respect for these heroes and their families.