A chief petty officer assigned to a Coronado-based Navy unit has died from injuries suffered in Afghanistan.
Christian Michael Pike, 31, of Peoria, Ariz., died Wednesday in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of combat-related injuries sustained on Sunday, the Defense Department said Thursday. He was conducting stability operations in Maiwand District, Afghanistan.
His mother, Diana Pike, posted on Facebook that Pike was shot in the head during a firefight, suffering immediate brain death. She wrote that he was part of a five-man team fighting 16 to 18 enemy troops. Despite a 10-hour battle, Pike received life-saving measures from teammate Ben Pitassi, and was evacuated by helicopter to Germany. About half of the combatants who attacked U.S. forces were killed in the battle, Pike wrote.
“Christian was so proud to be a Navy Chief with the SW Special Ops group and he was living honorably a life he chose. He wouldn’t have it any other way and neither would I,” Diana Pike wrote. “Christian lived every day, fully and with joy in his heart. He was beautiful, compassionate, honorable, happy and he loved his friends, family, and Navy brothers and sisters with all his heart.”
Pike’s girlfriend, Morgan Lakner, flew to Germany to be with Pike, said Chad Hughes, a friend of both.
“He was just your overall good guy, very easy to talk to, a lot of fun, sort of kind of social, out there,” said Hughes, 39, a Department of Defense civilian employee based in San Diego.
Hughes said Pike had no children, to the best of his knowledge.
Pike, originally from Peoria, Ariz., enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 24, 2001. After training, he was stationed at the Naval Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., served on the amphibious transport dock Cleveland, and then spent 2007 to 2011 at the Navy Information Operations Command in Georgia.
He moved to Naval Special Warfare in July 2011. His full rank was a chief petty officer cryptologic technician.
Efforts to reach Pike’s mother and Lakner were unsuccessful.
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