Family members and friends of a Lauderdale County Marine killed in service to his country are still coping with the death of a local soldier. This happens as the world marks the one-year anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.
Many people remember the famous statue of Saddam Hussein falling in central Baghdad a year ago Friday, but loved ones of Chris Mabry are understandably having a difficult time celebrating that.
Newscenter 11 brought you the tragic story of his death Thursday.
Marines presented his family with a Purple Heart Friday afternoon. Mabry made his mark at Clarkdale High School where he is remembered as a leader.
"He was definitely a campus leader. All the kids looked up to him," said Jan Miller, principal of Clarkdale Attendance Center. "They are sad. He will be missed."
At 19 years old, Christopher Mabry had just graduated Clarkdale not even a year ago. An honor graduate, football player and known for his smile, he found his calling in the armed services. Sadly that is where his life ended.
For people at Clarkdale, it's a smiling face they wish they could see again.
"He was a fun kid, always fun to be around. Had that bright smile. Tough to hear about it, something like this," said Chris' former coach, Britt Bennett.
This Marine's death has made even the most patriotic question their support.
"It's hard to be supportive with something like this," Miller said. "But of course, we are supportive of President Bush and the troops in Iraq, but something like this makes you question."
"I fully support the decision. Just makes you angry that we have lost people from something like this," Bennett said.
Funeral arrangements have been made. Mabry's' body will arrive in the United States Saturday for an autopsy. The family has tentatively scheduled the funeral for Tuesday, April 13.