Photo of SSGT Chris Ward from his Facebook page, used with his mother's permission
An East Tennessee soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.
The body of Staff Sergeant Christopher Ward, 24, of Oak Ridge arrived in the United States on Monday, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Ward's mother, Joyce Ward, and other family members were there for the homecoming.
"I can honestly say from the time he was five-years-old, he had it in his mind that we either wanted to be a cop... or military," said Joyce Ward.
She says the idea made her nervous.
"Being a mother, I was really scared," said Ward. "But I did encourage him to follow his heart and his dreams."
She says he died exactly two weeks before his 25 birthday.
"I'm going to be thinking of his smile, "said Ward. She describes her son as a man with a confident attitude.
"Ladies loved him, and men respected him," said Ward.
She says he was a man who took care of his family and his country.
"He has always said 'I don't work for the government, I work for the people."
Staff Sergeant Ward served with the U.S. Army in Operation Enduring Freedom. His mother says he was one of five Americans killed in a suicide car bombing on Saturday, while they were delivering textbooks. Also among the dead was a 25-year-old American diplomat. It was the deadliest day for the United States in eight months.
He attended Oak Ridge High School for two years before getting his G.E.D. and joining the Army in 2005.