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Powerful words from the homefront

Details for the return of Staff Sergeant Chris Rudzinski

RE:  Godspeed Chris Rudzinski

Mike emailed these details to SondraK and I about the return of the remains of his son, Staff Sergeant Chris Rudzinski:

Our son, PFC Jordan Rudzinski, and I will be escorting Chris back home.  We believe we will land at Champaign-Willard Airport around 9 a.m. (give or take) on Sunday, October 25, 2009.  Once Christopher has been transferred from the plane to the hearse, we will be escorted by law enforcement officers and fireman from several departments, as well as the Patriot Guard, back to Rantoul and Lux Memorial Chapel.

Then Christopher will be escorted to Rantoul Township High School for visitation from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (1400-1800 hours) on Sunday, October 25th.  A memorial service will take place starting at 7 p.m. and running until 8 p.m. (1900-2000 hours).

On Monday, October 26th there will be a Catholic Mass of Christian Burial beginning 11 a.m. at Saint Malachy Catholic Church in Rantoul, followed by a procession to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery (Rantoul) and a burial with full military honors.

Finally, we were told today that Chris had been posthumously promoted from sergeant to staff sergeant.

Thank you for all that you have done to honor Chris and his service.  We are in your debt for this kindness you have provided us.

Take care, and God bless.

Mike Rudzinski & Family

I may make it to the funeral on Monday morning.  Let me know if you're attending.  And thanks again to you Patriot Guard Riders!

Here is more info about donations and flowers.  Donations can be made to:

Ryan A. Rudzinski
Community Plus Federal Credit Union
526 E Champaign Ave
Rantoul, IL 61866-3005

As an alternative, Mike would also offer the suggestion that memorial contributions may be made to any of the following organizations:

Soldiers' Angels
Valor IT
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
or any other veterans service organization of the donor's choosing.

These memorial contributions can be made in Christopher's name, or perhaps in the names of Christopher and a veteran close to the donor.  I think Chris would like people to remember his brothers and sisters in arms as well.  He was that kind of guy.  He referred to the members of his squad in Afghanistan as "his kids."  Caroline has told me several stories of Chris' soldiers being invited home to dinner, or given rides (by Caroline as well as Chris) when they needed a safe way home.  SGT and Mrs. "Ski" were always there for their soldiers.

<...> If people ask about flowers, they should be sent in care of Lux Memorial Chapel, 1551 E Grove Ave Rantoul, IL 61866-2735 - (217) 892-9644.

I would like to thank you both for what you have done to honor and remember Chris for the fine man, soldier and NCO that he was.  They have been such a blessing for me and Natalie, but especially for Caroline.  Caroline is German and as you might imagine, not only was Chris' death very devastating to her, but it was coupled by the small, yet significant differences in culture between our two countries, which made things more painful.  However, the outpouring of support, condolences and tokens of honor have been a godsend to Caroline.  She has been awed by what she has experienced from our fellow citizens.