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Fort Bragg soldier killed Wednesday in Afghanistan
By Nick Needham Staff writer

A Fort Bragg soldier died Wednesday after his unit was attacked by insurgents in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.

Sgt. Christopher N. Karch, a 23-year-old native of Indianapolis, Ind., was hit by small-arms fire during an enemy attack on his combat outpost in the Arghandab River Valley.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

"Sgt. Christopher Karch was the very example of a professional and an infantry leader," said a fellow soldier, Sgt. Joshua Fletcher, in a statement from the division. "He was the best among his peers. He will be extremely missed, but never forgotten."

Karch enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in August 2005, and attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga.

Upon graduating, Karch went on to complete Basic Airborne School and reported to Fort Bragg in January 2006. He was assigned to the 508th Special Troops Battalion and deployed with the unit to Afghanistan in March 2007.

Karch returned from the 14-month deployment in April 2008 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in February 2009, where he served as a team leader. He deployed with Company A to Afghanistan for a second time in September.

"Sgt. Karch was the epitome of an airborne paratrooper," said 1st Lt. Matthew Hernandez, Karch's platoon leader, in a statement. "He was full of life, highly motivated, extremely competent and always gave it his all. He will always be a hero in my book."

Karch's grandfather told The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind., that his grandson was proud to be a paratrooper. Sgt. Karch had paratrooper wings tattooed across his back, said the grandfather, Norman Karch.

"He got the set of wings tattooed on back to help protect him," he told the newspaper.

Karch was expected to return home from deployment in less than three weeks, his grandfather said.

Karch's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutists Badge.

He is survived by his mother Jerri Kersey, and his father Norman Karch.

A memorial service will be held in Afghanistan.

(courtesy of "IndyScot")
Grave marker for Sgt Christopher N. Karch in the Memorial Park Cemetery, Indianapolis; Marion County, Indiana.

Sgt Karch was killed in action by small arms fire n the Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan on 11 August 2010.

He was posthumously awarded he Purple Heart.