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1st Lt. Christopher Goeke died in Afghanistan
~~ Active Duty Army Apple Valley Soldier Died in Afghanistan on July 13 ~~

The Goeke family of Apple Valley wishes to announce that 1st Lieutenant Christopher Goeke (pronounced GAY-kee), who served with the Ft. Bragg, North Carolina-based C Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, was killed in Afghanistan on July 13th.

1st Lieutenant Goeke died of wounds received while responding to an enemy attack on an Afghanistan National Army facility in Kandahar City.

The family respectfully requests that media honor their privacy during this difficult time; specifically, the family does not wish to answer questions from the press for the record. Editors and producers -- please do not assign a reporter to visit or call the family home.

The family is providing the attached photo and following statement on Christopher:

"Christopher Shultz Goeke was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He attended Apple Valley High School and the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was 6th in his class.

He passionately participated in mission work, Sunday school teaching, bible study, jazz band, mock trial, Team Ramrod frisbee and football intramurals. He was a beloved leader among his peers and always brought smiles, laughter and wisdom beyond his years. Christopher joined the Army in 2004 and was very proud to serve in the military. He will be deeply missed by his father, mother, brother and sisters, as well as his wife and loving friends.

Thanks to all of our family and friends for keeping Christopher in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Christopher lived passionately, loved completely and searched earnestly for truth. His legacy will never be forgotten."

The final arrangements are pending. The official Department of Defense will publish an official release in the future at www.defense.gov.

Grave marker for 1st Lt. Christopher S. Goeke in Section D Site 2020 of the Fort Snelling National Cemetery Minneapolis Hennepin County Minnesota.

(courtesy of Steve Edquist)

MN School Remembers Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Christopher Goeke, a 23-year-old first lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne. Goeke was killed July 13, 2010 in an attack in Kandahar.

As word spread quickly throughout Apple Valley concerning the loss of a local soldier in Afghanistan, the sparse summer staff inside the local high school felt the sudden shock and sorrow. 1st Lieutenant Christopher S. Goeke was a 2004 Apple Valley High School graduate.

School administrator Joe Wycoff remembers him well, saying, "This one really hit close to home."

Wycoff counseled Goeke when the senior independently entered an American Legion oratorical contest on the meaning of patriotism. Goeke's presentation was so inspiring that he placed third, despite not being enrolled in the speech class.

Friday there was a military tribute inside the school to those who, like Goeke, have walked its halls as students and later worn U.S. military uniforms.

While the 1st Lieutenant's photograph is absent from the display, his name resonates loudly six years later.

"You could tell in 2004 when he graduated that year that this was a kid who exhibited a type of not only excellence in the classroom, but also a form of quiet civility that people were really drawn to," added Wycoff.

After Goeke graduated high school he immediately entered the U.S. Army Academy at West Point. In 2008, Goeke finished 6th in his class and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, N.C.

According to friends he married his wife, Kelsey, just 18 months ago. Goeke then was assigned to Afghanistan as a member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne.

According to the military, he was killed Tuesday while responding to an attack on an Afghanistan National Army facility in Kandahar City.

Peter Buesgens first had Goeke as a student in the sixth grade.

"When I got the call two nights ago, the first thing that came to mind was, 'We lost a great one,'" he said.

Buesgens says he remembers Goeke as a young man who was constantly challenging himself with his academics, arts and athletics.

Goeke's long-time teacher added that it was such a pleasure "to watch him grow as a kid who knew from a young age that he really wanted to be a part of something bigger."

That "something bigger" became a noble career and one Goeke delivered with unbridled patriotism.

"We're a little less great as a nation without Chris in it," said Buesgens.