WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4) - The family of a fallen Fort Carson soldier spoke out Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Christopher J. Birdwell, 25, from Windsor was one of two soldiers from Fort Carson killed Monday in Kabul. It's believed he was killed when an Afghan soldier turned on him. It's a least the 33rd "insider attack" on coalition forces this year.
Birdwell was highly decorated with 20 commendations. It was his third deployment to Afghanistan.
Windsor High School's Memorial Garden is dedicated to students who have passed away. The dedication is carved in a rock. On Wednesday new stones appeared on the bench that sits in between two trees.
Birdwell family spokesman Scott Romme read a letter on behalf of Birdwell's family, who couldn't be at Windsor High School for the announcement that their son was killed.
"We are currently at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet our son," the letter said. "He was killed by an Afghan soldier with small arms fire … he was an athlete, he was a great student."
Melody Person is an English teacher at Windsor High. Birdwell was one of her students.
"I had Chris in my film class, which is a senior elective, and I remember his smile I think the most about him," Person said. "He had a great sense of humor. He was one of those students the other kids liked and teachers liked having in class."
Birdwell's family thought a photo (below) best captured the heart and spirit of their son. He's the oldest of four siblings, all of whom attended Windsor High School.
Birdwell enlisted in the Army in the spring of 2006 after graduating from high school.
Birdwell's family says they will bury him at Fort Logan National Cemetery. A memorial service at Fort Carson is planned for next Thursday at 11 a.m.
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