Friends remember Memorial High School grad killed in combat

By: Aaron Dimick, WEAU 13 News Staff, AP Email
By: Aaron Dimick, WEAU 13 News Staff, AP Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Family and friends continue to grieve the loss of Navy Lt. Christopher Mosko.

The 2002 Eau Claire Memorial High School graduate was killed in combat in Afghanistan on Thursday.

WEAU 13 News caught up with some of Mosko’s friends in Eau Claire and talked about his impact on the community.

“He was a good team-oriented kid who seemed to me to be mature for his age,” said former soccer coach Marty Hendricks.

Along with Carlo Van Heertum, Hendricks said he coached Mosko from ages 12-15 on the Eau Claire Racing Red United Soccer Team.

He then got to watch Mosko play alongside his son Chad on the Memorial High School soccer team.

In 2001, Mosko and the Old Abes made it all the way to the state semi-finals.

“Came really close to winning it and that's one of the fondest memories I'll cherish with him,” said friend and teammate Jake Hrudka.

Mosko was also involved in swimming and show choir at Memorial.

Friends said Mosko made a big impact on everyone he met and was very outgoing.

After graduating in 2002, he left Eau Claire and went to Drexel University in Philadelphia and then started a career in the U.S. Navy.

The Defense Department said Mosko served as a naval lieutenant in Afghanistan, disposing explosives with the Joint Combined Special Operations Task Force.

“He accomplished that. He lived his dream,” Hendricks said.

But on April 26, tragedy struck as a roadside bomb took Mosko’s life.

The 28-year-old leaves behind his wife, Amanda, and scores of family and friends.

“I guess it took me a day or so before it sunk in and hit me. That’s when I broke down a little bit,” Hrudka said.

He was currently being stationed in San Diego.

Mosko’s family moved to the east coast after he finished high school.

In a blog post, Mosko’s father John wrote:

"He was a great man in so many ways. We loved him and cherished him and now we will grieve him".

Friends said the imprint Mosko left on Eau Claire won’t be forgotten.

“He gave his life for his country and that was the type of person that he was. He was very giving,” said friend and former teammate Chad Hendricks.

Marty Hendricks said the local soccer community will come together to memorialize him in some way.

“He's a hero and I'm proud of that,” Marty Hendricks said.

There’s no word yet on any funeral arrangements.

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Defense Department says a sailor from western New York has been killed in combat in Afghanistan.

Navy Lt. Christopher Mosko, 28, from the Rochester suburb of Pittsford was killed in Ghazni province Thursday, the Pentagon said.

NATO had previously said three U.S. troops were killed in a bomb attack in that region, but it wasn't immediately clear if Mosko was among them.

According to a family friend, Mosko was a 2002 graduate from Memorial High School in Eau Claire.

Mosko was active in swimming, soccer and show choir among other activities.

The Defense Department said Mosko commanded an explosives disposal platoon with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force.

He was stationed in San Diego.

The unit is responsible for dealing with unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

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