2 Chicago Area Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

(CBS) — Four soldiers from an Indiana-based National Guard unit, including two from the Chicago area, have been killed in Afghanistan.

One of the fallen soldiers, Spc. Christopher Patterson, grew up in Aurora in a military family. The 20-year-old was attending Valparaiso University when he joined the Indiana National Guard.

Patterson’s unit, the Valparaiso-based 713th Engineer Company, was on active duty in Afghanistan when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

“Chris didn’t have to go with his unit when it activated,” his mother, Mary Patterson, told CBS 2 on Saturday. “When they got news that the unit was being activated he said, ‘I have to do this. I didn’t sign up to just stay in school or to get an education. I did this for my country.’”

Also killed was Spc. Brian Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, Ind.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Metzger of Indianapolis and Spc. Robert Tauteris Jr. of Hamlet, Ind. also died.

Another soldier, Pvt. Douglas Rachowicz from Hammond, Ind. was injured in the blast. He suffered a broken pelvis and collapsed lung.

  • NICK


    • Afro

      I agree with NICK but bring em home then NUKE it

  • BoBo

    Brave young men who left us to soon.

  • Alison

    Chris Patterson was a close friend of me and he was only over there since veterans day. I cant believe that he is gone.

  • Jim Hamilton

    We all gave some you guys gave all, brothers and sisters in uniform. I hope your families read this, I just want to say thank you to them for the love that you showed us.

    Welcome Home

  • Katherine Mahon

    The reason is obscure now but one day it will be clear,as to why your soldiers fell. HEROS is not enough to remember them as but it is the best we have. Believe your are held by a higher power, and draw strenght to continue on as you know your sons,brothers friends would have wanted. There is so much more that can be done in their names. Grieve and gpow in strenght, wisdom and courage.

  • Kim Fennewald

    I was lucky enough to be part of Christopher’s life as his fourth grade teacher. I knew then that he would do great things in his life. I will always remember that smile, sparkle in his eyes and his incredible level of maturity beyond his years. Thank you Christopher, for making this world a better place for my own children to live in. You will be forever in my heart, and thanks for being a true HERO in every sense of the word. Rest in peace among the angels, sweetie.

  • Linda

    Thought obummer said the war was over and he had brought our troops home, that just some troops were left to train these people. If after nine years these people haven’t learned how to defend their country, then they are never going to learn. For real this time, BRING OUR TROOPS HOME.

  • http://stevenleesdouglas.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/fallen-but-not-forgotten-ied-claims-the-lives-of-4-indiana-national-guard-in-afghanistan/ Fallen But Not Forgotten – IED claims the lives of 4 Indiana National Guard in Afghanistan « The Communicator

    […] 2 Chicago Area Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan (chicago.cbslocal.com) […]

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/20/west-aurora-high-school-pays-respects-to-fallen-soldier/ West Aurora High School Pays Respects To Fallen Soldier « CBS Chicago

    […] Patterson was known for his musical talent and his patriotism. […]

  • Brenda in Alabama

    So sad to lose more of our brave Heros! May God bless family and friends because they are Heros too!

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