Christopher Warren Lotter
Private First Class, United States Army
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 005-09
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Private First Class Christopher W. Lotter, 20, of Chester Heights, Pennsylvania, died December 31, 2008, in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when he was shot by enemy forces in Tikrit. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
For more information the media may contact U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii, public affairs office at (808) 656-3160 or (808) 656-3157.
County soldier died in service of others
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
By Timothy Logue
Courtesy of The Delco Times
A 20-year-old Delaware County soldier was standing in the gunner’s hatch of an up-armored vehicle when he was shot by a sniper December 30, 2008, in the city of Tikrit, Iraq, about 90 miles north of Baghdad, according to an U.S. Army public affairs officer.
Private First Class Christopher W. Lotter, of the 100 block of Kingswood Court in Chester Heights, died New Year’s Eve at the military trauma center at nearby Joint Base Balad, commonly known as Camp Anaconda.
Lotter was shot while on “routine patrol” helping to secure an area around the city’s water plant while fellow soldiers were inside talking to the director about upgrading the water plant at the Khadasia General Hospital.
During a January 3, 2009, memorial service, Lotter’s company commander, Captain Jeff Rhodes, said the last selfless act of his life was to help the people of Khadasia to have fresh, clean drinking water. To honor his sacrifice, the soldiers in Lotter’s company have pledged to complete the water treatment project.
The service was held at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, near Tikrit, and attended by more than 400 people. Lotter’s family has yet to speak publicly about their loss and funeral information was not available Tuesday.
“In the last six or seven years, I’ve listened to dozens of condolence resolutions on the House floor, but this is the first soldier to die from my district,” said state Representative Stephen Barrar, R-160, of Upper Chichester. “With the amount of violence in Iraq down dramatically, you are always hoping it will all wind down without having to bury any more of our young men and women.”
U.S. Representtive Joe Sestak, D-7, of Edgmont, held a moment of silence for Lotter with a few hundred of his constituents who traveled to Washington, D.C., Tuesday for a reception held in the Library of Congress following his swearing-in ceremony.
A member of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Lotter enlisted in the Army last January and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii in June. He was trained as a cannon crew member at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and deployed to Tikrit in October 2008.
In its previous deployment, the 25th Infantry Division was credited with training tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police, implementing more than 1,800 reconstruction projects and carrying out combat operations against insurgents, according to the 25th Infantry Division Association Web site.
Lotter was serving as a gunner on a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicle when he was shot, according to his brigade’s public affairs officer, Major Cathy Wilkinson.
Most of the vehicles have a V-shaped hull and
armor plating designed to provide protection against mines and IEDs, according
to the defense-oriented Web site globalsecurity.org.
The funeral for Private First Class Christopher Warren Lotter of Chester Heights will be held noon Thursday in Virginia and followed by burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Lotter, 20, died New Year’s Eve in Iraq from injuries sustained a day earlier when he was shot while providing perimeter security outside the water department in the city of Tikrit, about 90 miles north of Baghdad.
The service will be held at Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia. A Wednesday-night visitation is expected with the time still to be determined. The funeral home is approximately three miles from Arlington National Cemetery, where Lotter will be buried with full military honors.
The young soldier was a 2006 graduate of Point High School on the southern coast of South Africa and entered the Army last January.
One of his former teachers, Harry Gird, told the Cape Town newspaper Die Burger (“The Citizen”) that Lotter was a popular student and very well-liked.
“He was above average in intelligence and many-faceted,” Gird said. “He had a very nice personality and always tried to bring humor to the classroom by making a joke when things got dreary.
“He won many friends this way. He was terribly popular.”
A member of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Lotter deployed to Iraq in October 2008.
More than 400 people gathered for a January 3, 2009, memorial service for Lotter in Iraq. Another service in South Africa was attended by family, former classmates and representatives of the U.S. Embassy, according to Die Burger.
“It was one of the most moving memorial services I have ever attended,” Gird said. “The church was packed with family and friends as well as friends of his parents.”
Gird described his formal pupil as a humane young man who was proud to be a soldier and enjoyed making contact with the children in the areas where he was assigned.
“Everyone in the church was in tears as an American officer saluted Warren’s photo in the front of the church, and as people in the church lit candles for him,” Gird said of Lotter.
An Army spokeswoman said Lotter was standing in the gunner’s turret of an up-armored Humvee when he was shot.
“On this particular patrol, the team had stopped by (Khadasia General Hospital) to follow up on repairs that needed to be made to the water-treatment plant, then brought the hospital’s engineer to the water department to speak with officials there about the project,” said Major Cathy Wilkinson.
Lotter was the first soldier killed from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He was trained as a cannon crew member at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
He is survived by his father, Barry of Chester Heights; mother, Marlene of South Africa; sister, Michelle; and brother, Justin.
LOTTER, CHRISTOPHER WARREN
Posted: 10 January 2009 Updated: 22 February 2009 Updated: 28 June 2009