Doreen and Bob Thibodaux’s first son, Christopher, came charging into this world on Oct. 3, 1982.
The first of three children, Chris showed a single-minded determination even as a young boy. Doreen would have to come into his room to pry his baseball glove from his grasp after he would fall asleep. He had a similar love of his country. As a young man, Chris would volunteer to play taps at the West Geauga Memorial Day salute. He wanted to follow his father and grandparents into the military -- his eyes on the sky, dreaming of becoming a pilot.
That focus sharpened in college at Case Western after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He asked Bob and Doreen for one graduation gift -- Lasik surgery so he could be eligible for army helicopter training.
His vision was as true as his determination. Attending a recruiting event before a pro football game, Chris predicted he would marry one of the girls he was escorting onto the field. He married Lee Sandra before shipping off to Afghanistan to fly Apache attack helicopters. While overseas, Christopher was thrilled to learn he and Lee Sandra were expecting. With the prospect of becoming a father, his focus never wavered from his duty. When asked why he served, his response was, “I want to fight for those who can’t.”
In May of 2011, Christopher’s unit was called to support American troops on the ground during an assault. He was killed in action.
If you ask Lee Sandra, she will tell you that the instant Christopher’s heart stopped, their baby Liam’s heart began to beat. In this way, a great American like Christopher Thibodaux lives on as do so many others who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I’m Dominic Mancuso. Let’s remember them this Memorial Day weekend.
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