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Navy Recruit From Kittanning Dies During Fitness Training

KITTANNING (KDKA) –- A Navy recruit from Armstrong County died early Wednesday while taking part in a standard physical fitness assessment.

19-year-old Christopher Walker from Kittanning was in the final stages of Navy boot camp when he died during a mile-and-a-half run at the Naval Station at Great Lakes, Illinois.

He had reported feeling disoriented moments before collapsing.

Jason Gurski, a former Apollo Police Officer who instructs the "Law Enforcement and Information Technology" program, cannot believe that his bright student is gone.

"He was the teacher, he was the mentor, he was the leader. He stepped in always to help. He was a very compassionate and respectful young man."

Walker was an "A" student. He was in the student government and was known for his sense of humor. He enlisted in the Navy this past November with the goal of going into K-9 work.

The Navy released this statement from Commanding Officer Captain Steven Bethke: "Seaman Recruit Walker was outstanding. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family. His loss is felt by the entire recruit training command staff."

Walker is survived by his parents, Jason and Laurie, and a sister, Samantha.

Funeral arrangements for Chris Walker are still incomplete.

Recruit Training Command
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