Spc. Christopher A. Landis: Soldier from Independence, Ky., killed in attack in Afghanistan

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. – Dan Koch lowered the flags at Independence city hall to half staff Thursday.

 "I'm grateful that there are men and women out there every day willing to sacrifice so that I can be here," said Koch, the director of public services.

Northern Kentucky is mourning a soldier killed in an enemy attack in Afghanistan this week.

Spc. Christopher A. Landis, 27, was mortally wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade that hit his dismounted patrol in Kapisa Province, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.

He died Monday at Bagram Airfield.

Landis, who spoke Arabic, was a cryptologic linguist. The Army says a cryptologic linguist is "primarily responsible for identifying foreign communications using signals equipment."

Landis grew up in a house on Harris Pike in Independence.

Neighbors said he has two brothers and one sister and that the siblings were home-schooled by their parents.

"We are just very saddened to lose any soldier," said Mayor Donna Yeager. "My heart goes out to the family. We sympathize with them and we will try to get in touch with them to see if there's anything we can do."  

All Kenton County office buildings were directed to lower their flags to half staff through the weekend.

Every neighbor we spoke to had nothing but good things to say about the Landis family.

Landis was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. He enlisted in March 2011 and took linguistic training before he was deployed to Afghanistan last fall.

His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

WCPO did reach out to the Landis family Thursday. They asked for privacy and said that they would have a comment in the next day or so.


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