Gold Star Mothers of New Mexico
Army Spc Christopher Merville
Christopher Merville was born 25 August 1978 in Lake Forest, Illinois. In November 1978, he moved with his parents, Joseph and Patricia Merville, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. During his childhood, he participated in Roadrunner Little League, AYSO Soccer, YMCA Basketball, YAFL football, and Cub Scouts. Chris had a skill for languages. After taking 3 years of German at Eldorado High School, he was awarded a scholarship through the U.S. Congress-German Bundestag program, and spent his senior year of high school in Geldern, Westphalia, Germany as an exchange student. The summer before he left for Germany, Chris completed all requirements for his high school diploma. After returning from Germany, he enrolled at UNM, while also working full time as assistant manager at Kay-Bee Toys at Winrock Center. Chris’ world was rocked when his father suddenly died on April 4, 2001. After the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Chris decided that he had to defend his country, and honor the military service of his Dad, who had served in the Army 1st Calvary Division (Air Mobile) in Vietnam. Chris joined the Army, and took Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, OK. His leadership skills were acknowledged when he was designated as a platoon leader. Upon completion of training in 2003, he was issued orders to Camp Hovey, South Korea with the 2d Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, Division Artillery, 2d Infantry Division. He continued his language enrichment while in South Korea, teaching himself Korean and Tagalog, the primary language of his fiancé, Renabeth Luis. In August 2004, his unit was sent to Iraq to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 12 October 2004, while on patrol in Ar Ramadi, Chris was killed by a sniper shot to his head. He was 26 years old.
Pat Merville, Mom
Chris' family donated this memorial bench to the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park in honor of his service to our country. It can be found the in War on Terrorism section of the Memorial Park. It faces the Sandia Mountains, where Chris loved to hike.