by Sierra Marlee | May 23, 2015 7:02 pm
Chris Moon was drafted by the Atlanta Braves before attending the University of Atlanta and had a potentially lucrative baseball career ahead of him. Instead of following the path that was clearly laid out for him, Moon made the decision to join the military, later becoming a sniper. He was killed while on a mission in the Kandahar province.
From The Daily Mail:
The family and friends of a college athlete who left the University of Arizona baseball team to join the Army are planning to commemorate their loved one five years after his death.
Chris Moon, of Tuscon, died at 20 years old of injuries he suffered in July 2010 from a roadside bomb in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, where he was serving as a sniper.
He has been called the ‘college Pat Tillman’ for giving up his potentially lucrative sports career for service to his country, just as the former NFL star did before being killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
Now there are plans to remember Moon’s sacrifice at the baseball diamond where he played before giving it all up for his country.
Relatives and former coaches at Tuscon High have raised $20,000 for a $60,000 life-sized statue of the pitcher and center fielder in both his baseball and military uniforms.
Moon was drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school, but chose to accept a scholarship to his hometown university.
He had batted .462 in his senior year and also pitched four complete games, being named the Southern Arizona Player of the Year, according to Yahoo Sports.
However, the call to join the Army propelled him to drop out before he had played a game for the Wildcats, despite the opposition of his coaches and parents.
His drive and leadership skills helped him become an accomplished sniper when he was sent overseas for a year, and he survived several close calls before the events that led to his death.
Moon and his friend Chris Rush had stayed behind to help train an incoming group of soldiers in a particularly dangerous area of the country, the Arghandab Valley in Kandahar.
More than half of the 42 men in Moon’s unit were killed or wounded during their time in Afghanistan, according to The Atlantic.
Insurgent fighters detonated a bomb as he walked over it, leaving him at the bottom of a five foot wide crater as his fellow soldiers scrambled to save him.
The former baseball player fought and though he lost his legs and had shrapnel in his arms, survived long enough to be taken to a hospital in Germany. He died a week after the explosion from a blood infection.
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