Soldier with Eastern Iowa roots dies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Soldier with Eastern Iowa roots dies

Pfc. Christopher Horns Pfc. Christopher Horns

The body of a soldier with Eastern Iowa roots will return to the Decorah area this week for a memorial service with full military honors.

Pfc. Christopher Horns, 20, served with the 2nd battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment of the U.S. Army and was on his first deployment, stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

On October 22, he was on a mission, when an improvised explosive device detonated.

"He was mortally wounded that evening," his father Larry Horns said, "and his team members were at his side."

The blasts killed two other service members on that mission.

Larry Horns served in the military for about 30 years.

"Now I know what it's like for another service member, probably, to lose his son or daughter," Horns said.

Christopher Horns lived throughout the world, following his father's military career. Though he never lived in Iowa, he often visited family here.

Tuesday, more than a dozen family members gathered at the home of Horns' grandparents, near Decorah.

One of his aunts, Susanna Sisk, made the trip from North Carolina, where she and her family live.

"Our heart hurts. We cry, we remember, we see pictures, and we'll miss him greatly," Sisk said.

She said she remembers Christopher as somebody who would always lend a hand.

"He was fun-loving. He was a jokester. He just had a very kind heart," Sisk said.

Family members said Horns was proud and eager to serve his country.

"There is a loss. Big loss for his company, big loss for his country, family members," his father said. "Christopher, we'll always look up to you, and we won't forget."

Larry Horns said his son will receive a bronze star for his service.

Pfc. Horns' body arrives in Iowa Thursday. The service is on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., at Calmar Lutheran Church.

The immediate family plans to spread Horns' ashes in the mountains near their home in Colorado Springs.

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