IRWIN (KDKA) – A United States Marine, scholar, athlete and family man, 40-year-old Lt. Col. Christopher Raible was truly one of the few, the proud.
And he was one of two Marines to die during a fierce attack Friday at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, when Taliban insurgents, dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and heavily armed breached the airfield’s perimeter.
Raible was a Harrier jet pilot and Commander of the Arizona-based Marine Attack Squadron 211 dubbed “The Avengers.”
There is a great self-taken photo, seated in the cockpit, listening to a Steelers game in a previous deployment in the skies over Iraq.
“When I read the paper and heard about this, I had a tear in my eye,” says one of his former teachers, Don Kattic.
Chris “Otis” Raible graduated near the top of his Norwin High School class. Kattic, who served in the Marines, says he’s lost a brother.
“I had him as a senior in a Sociology course that I had. He was an excellent student and I’m sure I gave him an ‘A.’”
Raible was a starting defensive back on the Norwin Knights football team and in the Math Club.
Chris Raible joined the Marines right out of Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in civil engineering. He was the father of three children – two daughters 11 and 9 and a 2-year-old son.
But Katti says, “I’m sure he’s in heaven and looking down upon those kids.”
The Lieutenant Colonel’s mother says that her son died defending all that he held dear.
There will be a moment of silence at the Norwin Board meeting in his memory and the family is planning a memorial with the school district to honor and celebrate his life.