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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Public service planned for slain soldier

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Marine carry team lifts a transfer case containing the remains of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who died while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The body of U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Stark was among those flown to the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del. Stark's funeral will be held this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Jolly Mill Park. Burial will be in the Monett IOOF Cemetery. [AP Photo/Steve Ruark]
Funeral services for U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Stark, killed in action in Afghanistan on Feb. 28, will be held this week in Monett.

Stark, a 2007 graduate of Monett High School, was flown to the military base in Dover, Del., on March 4. The body will be brought to Monett, where visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Buchanan Funeral Home.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Jolly Mill Park. Burial will be in the Monett IOOF Cemetery.

The family has requested they be left alone at the visitation and burial.

According to a story prepared by the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, written by the Army public affairs mobile detachment downrange from where Stark served, several soldiers said Stark was an outstanding team member and a great Explosives Ordinance Technician (EOD) technician. Stark's comrades said he was always willing to help others and made everything he did fun for himself and for those around him.

"Spc. Stark served as my EOD team member," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Czikalla, of Clive, Iowa. "His input and enthusiasm was crucial to the successful completion of numerous missions. He loved being an EOD technician. There was never a day that Chris didn't live life to the fullest. He experienced more in his 22 years than many do in a lifetime."

Stark's "strong sense of loyalty and devotion to his team made him a very reliable technician," said U.S. Army Sgt. Chandara Hak, of Santa Rosa, Calif., and 705th EOD member. "You could always count on Spc. Stark to have your back in any situation."

U.S. Army Spc. Dwayne Rhymes, of Conroe, Texas, knew Stark as a friend who worked hard and was always willing to learn new things. He said fellow soldiers could always count on Stark if they ever needed anything, calling him "a blessing to those around him" who will be missed but never forgotten.

The officers of 705th EOD also valued Stark as an EOD expert and a soldier. They knew Stark was an integral part of their organization.

"Spc. Stark was great at everything he did. You could always count on him to do his best and give his fullest effort," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alex Dial, of Decatur, Ill. "He was an invaluable asset and an absolute pleasure and blessing to be around."

"Specialist Stark was a gifted and motivated soldier," said U.S. Army Capt. Aaron Teller, of Hillsville, Va., Stark's company commander. "He had a driving passion for EOD work."

Stark is the son of former Monett R-1 School District administrator Teresa Stark and the late Jeff Stark.

Stark's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal with star device, Global War on Terror Service Medal, NATO Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Basic Badge.

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