Missouri Honors an Army Hero
A MISSOURI TRIBUTE TO ARMY SPECIALIST KATZENBERGER,
Michael Katzenberger with his son, Army Specialist Christopher Katzenberger. (Post Dispatch)
Shortly after Army Spc. Christopher M. Katzenberger arrived in Afghanistan in May, he sent a letter to a former north St. Louis County neighbor, requesting pens and pencils for needy Afghan schoolchildren.
Angela Denise Cheek wasn’t surprised by the request.
“He loved helping children,” said Cheek, 22, of O’Fallon, Mo., who used to be Katzenberger’s neighbor. “He loved helping people.”
“Chris was a great kid, loved children, and had dreams of being a Ranger medic and becoming a physician’s assistant,” said Capt. Jody Shouse, Katzenberger’s company commander, in a statement.
“During his time here in Afghanistan, he was able to save a woman’s life in Kabul.” Katzenberger’s decorations include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Army officials were unable to say how he saved the woman’s life.
Although they didn’t know Christopher Katzenberger, a group of veterans, came to help his family in a time of grief.
“We go down there and shake their hand, and have that look in their eyes and shake your hand, they tell you they appreciate it, it’s just something I can’t explain,” says Leo Hobson of the Gateway Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.
“The fellas all wanted to come out and show their respects, so we show up,” added Hobson.
Christopher Katzenberger was laid to rest with full military honors on Friday.
“Everyone used to tease him about working at McDonald’s,” said Mark Walth, 16, who is Cheek’s brother and still resides on Coldbrook Court. “We used to ask, ‘Where are the cheeseburgers?’ One day he brought about 20 cheeseburgers and started giving them to neighbors.”
On Friday, Walth and his younger brother, Matthew Walth, 12, spent the afternoon cutting the Katzenberger family’s lawn. The two brothers also arranged about 80 flags on the lawn.