EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — A U.S. Navy lieutenant who was killed in Afghanistan is being remembered in the Wisconsin city where he attended high school as a well-rounded student and passionate soccer player.
Christopher Mosko, 28, was one of three U.S. troops killed Thursday by a bomb in Afghanistan's Ghazni province. While the Defense Department listed him as being from the Rochester, N.Y., suburb of Pittsford, his family says they lived there for several years but that he was born in Philadelphia and was living in San Diego.
Mosko was a 2002 graduate of Eau Claire Memorial High School who participated in soccer, swimming and show choir. His family moved away not long after he graduated, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported Sunday.
"He was a fine young man," said Ken De Meuse, whose son Nick played soccer with Mosko from youth league through high school.
"He took himself and the game of soccer pretty seriously," he said. "He was always one of the first on the field to practice and one of the last to leave. He was very dedicated."
De Meuse told the newspaper one of his favorite sports memories was of the young men's last soccer season at Memorial, in 2001. The team advanced to the state tournament but lost in the semifinal to Marquette University High School, which went on to win the state championship.
Retired Memorial High School choir director George Utphall also had positive memories of Mosko.
"He was a hard worker. Very self-directed. Very likable," Utphall recalled. "He had a strong sense of community and stick-to-itiveness, of doing his best."
Marty Hendricks, who coached Mosko in youth soccer from age 12 to 15 and whose son Chad played on the same Memorial team, said Mosko was an excellent student and was good at several sports but really loved soccer.
"He was fearless," Hendricks said. "He was a team captain for both us and Eau Claire Memorial. ... Chris could have done anything he wanted, but he had a passion for the military and followed that dream."
The Defense Department says Mosko commanded an explosives disposal platoon with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. He was based in San Diego.
Information from: Leader-Telegram, http://www.leadertelegram.com/