In Memory of SSG Chris Piper
SSG Christopher Neal Piper of Marblehead, Massachusetts, died June 16, 2005 in Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas from injuries sustained on June 3, 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle in Orgun-E, Afghanistan. SSG Piper was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC.
SSG Piper was critically injured on June 3rd while with SFODA 731. Two U.S. soldiers with whom Piper was traveling with also died. He was treated in Afghanistan and then transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for additional medical treatment. He then was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center for further treatment.
Piper graduated from Marblehead High School in 1980 where he was an honors student. He served as the captain of the football team and played catcher on the baseball team.
After graduation from high school he entered the Marine Corps on September 30, 1980 where he served for several years. While in the Marine Corps he became part of a scout sniper platoon and was deployed to the Middle East with the 3/8th Marines. He was stationed in Beirut, Lebanon in the early 1980s. Upon leaving active service with the Marine Corps he served in the Marine Corps Reserve with the 1/25th Marines. For a period of years he operated a carpentry business.
Chris entered the Army on April 17, 1995. SSG Piper served in Company C 1st Battalion 20th Special Forces Group (Massachusetts Army National Guard) from 1999 to 2004. He deployed to Afghanistan with 20th SFGA in 2002-2003. While deployed with SFODA 2033 in Afghanistan he earned the bronze star with valor after his detachment was ambushed on March 12, 2003 in the Pakita Province of Afghanistan.
Upon his return from Afghanistan in 2003 with 20th SFGA he decided to return to active duty serving with several units until his assignment with the 7th Special Forces Group in September 2004.
His awards and decorations include: the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
On June 23rd, 2005 the city of Marblehead, Massachusetts renamed their high school football field after Chris Piper. When Chris attended school in Marblehead he was a captain of the 1979 football team.
SSG Piper was 43 years old. Piper is the son of Ernest W. Piper Jr. and the late Helen Piper. He leaves behind his wife who is living at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also leaves behind two children, Dierdre, 13, and Christopher, 12 of Marblehead, Massachusetts.
June 9, 2005. "Selectman knows this long road". Marblehead Reporter.
June 9, 2005. "I am built for this work". Marblehead Reporter.
June 16, 2005. "Sgt. Piper flown back to U.S.". Marblehead Reporter.
June 17, 2005. "DoD Identifies Army Casualty". Department of Defense News Release.
June 17, 2005. "Marblehead soldier dies of wounds suffered in Afghanistan". CBS 4 Boston.
June 18, 2005. "Army Special Forces Soldier dies in Texas". USASOC News Service.
June 18, 2005. "Marblehead mourns loss of soldier, to injuries from roadside bomb in Afghanistan". The Daily Item.
June 18, 2005. "Marblehead soldier dies of wounds from Afghanistan". SouthCoastToday.
June 18, 2005. "Soldier 'determined to serve' dies of wounds". Boston Herald.
June 18, 2005. "For fallen soldier, commitment to serve came first". The Boston Globe.
June 20, 2005. "Marblehead to honor G.I. killed in blast". The Daily Item.
July 23, 2005. "Green Beret's funeral expected to attract throngs". The Daily Item.
July 23, 2005. "Honoring a hero". Marblehead Reporter.
June 23, 2005. "Town remembers fallen soldier. 'Pipes' dedicated to military life". The Boston Globe.
June 24, 2005. "Commentary: Marblehead no stranger to heroes". The Daily Item.
June 24, 2005. "Special Forces Soldiers Honored". Defend America.
June 24, 2005. "Field named after Piper". The Daily Item.
June 27, 2005. "'Pipes' not only a friend, but a hero". The Daily Item.
June 27, 2005. "Fallen Soldier Laid To Rest". The Boston Channel.
June 28, 2005. "Heroes and zeroes: Love trumps hate in Marblehead". The Boston Herald.
June 28, 2005. "Grieving town mourns its fallen hero". The Boston Globe.
June 28, 2005. "The military was his calling". The Daily Item.
June 28, 2005. "Marblehead turns out in droves for one of its own". The Daily Item.
June 28, 2005. "Piper is "Forever" Marblehead's son". The Daily Item.
June 29, 2005. "SF Soldiers remembered in ceremony". USASOC News Service.
June 30, 2005. "Thank you, Piper, Sleigh - and Rodgers". Marblehead Reporter.
June 30, 2005. "Athletic field named in Piper's honor". Marblehead Reporter.
June 30, 2005. "Piper's widow knew he had to fight". The Daily Item.
June 30, 2005. "Honoring a hero". Marblehead Reporter.
June 30, 2005. "Thank you, Sgt. Piper". Marblehead Reporter.
July 1, 2005. "Class of 1980 to honor Piper". The Daily Item.
August 18, 2005. "Piper benefit takes shape". Marblehead Reporter.
August 29, 2005. "Fund-raisers to aid children of fallen Marblehead soldier". The Daily Item.
September 20, 2005. "Piper to get Bronze Star". The Daily Item.
September 20, 2005. "Father of fallen Green Beret accepts son's Bronze Star Medal". USASOC News Service.
September 21, 2005. "Father at peace with son's death". The Daily Item.
September 21, 2005. "Fallen soldier receives military honor at his home base". The Daily Item.
November 23, 2005. "Marblehead to dedicate field for late Staff Sgt. Christopher Piper". Marblehead Reporter.
November 25, 2005. "Field of honor". The Salem News.
November 25, 2005. "Marblehead athletic field dedicated to fallen war hero". The Daily Item.
December 1, 2005. "Remembering a hero . . . forever". Marblehead Reporter.
December 29, 2005. "The Year In Review". Marblehead Reporter.
November 16, 2009. "Tuition gift after highest price paid". Boston.com.
Donations. Donations to help the family of Christopher Piper may be made to the "Sgt. Chris Piper Fund" at:
National Grand Bank
"So long honey babe...Goodbye's too good a word
"Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be
afraid, for I am your God.
Corrections, additions, and comments can be sent to the webmaster.