Eau Claire Memorial High graduate killed in AfghanistanFlags on state government buildings will fly at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of a naval officer who died in Afghanistan last week.
By: By Joe Knight, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
Christopher Mosko is being remembered as a well-rounded student, good athlete and friendly guy.
Mosko, 28, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, was one of three U.S. troops killed by a bomb in Afghanistan's Ghazni province Thursday.
He was a 2002 Eau Claire Memorial High School graduate who participated in soccer, swimming and show choir. His family left Eau Claire not long after he graduated.
"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 said one of his favorite sports memories was of the young men's last soccer season at Memorial, in fall 2001. The team advanced to the state tournament, but in the semifinal game lost to Marquette University High School, which went on to win the state championship.
Retired Memorial High School choir director George Utphall also has positive memories of Mosko.
"He was a hard worker. Very self-directed. Very likeable," 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 a number of sports, but had a love for 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."
According to information from Mosko's profile on the social networking website Facebook, he married Amanda Turney on Oct. 2, 2009. He graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he was part of the Navy ROTC. A former Memorial classmate, Joe Richie, said Mosko had wanted to be in the Navy ever since he met him in sixth grade.
Christopher Mosko's father, John Mosko, mourned his son in a blog post Friday.
"He was a great man in so many ways. We loved him and cherished him and now we will grieve him," the elder Mosko wrote.
According to the Department of Defense, Mosko was assigned as a Navy explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, platoon commander to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan. The unit is responsible for dealing with unexploded ordnance and improvised explosives including roadside bombs.
Mosko was stationed at EOD Mobile Unit 3 in San Diego.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mosko was commissioned in May 2007 and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.
(c)2012 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)
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