By KARINE ABALYAN
Capital News Service
WASHINGTON - Staff Sgt. Christopher O. Moudry loved to spend time with his children, his sister said.
"My brother was a father, and he was a good person," said Sharon Roof, of Abingdon.
The 31-year-old Maryland native died in Taji, Iraq, on Oct. 4, about 10 months after arriving in the country. Moudry and three other soldiers were attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire and other weapons, said Army spokeswoman Nancy A. Bourget.
Moudry, who grew up in Perry Hall, graduated from Baltimore's Perry Hall High School in 1993. Most recently he lived in Texas with his girlfriend, Nikki Vandennicker, Roof said.
Moudry and Vandennicker have an 18-month-old son, Ashton. Moudry also has a son, Chase, 9, and a stepdaughter, Kaila Warfield, 11, with his former wife, Karie Warfield, the three of whom live in Arizona.
"He was very involved with his kids," said Roof.
The soldier appears with his children in an online MySpace tribute created by Roof after her brother's death. The page includes photographs of Moudry at his stepdaughter's baptism, opening a Christmas present with Chase and smiling with Ashton.
The online memorial has been viewed by more than 21,000 people, Roof said. Even those who did not know Moudry have left the family heartfelt messages.
"I had no idea it was going to be such a big deal," she said.
Moudry, who was based at Fort Hood in Texas, joined the Army in 1995. Ten years later, he was assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, said Bourget.
"It just seemed right for him," said Roof. "The Army actually made him into . . . a better person. It just gave him more focus."
She added that her brother enjoyed traveling since his Boy Scout days, and that "he liked the traveling aspect" of his work in the Army.
Moudry received the Army Service Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver and Mechanic Badge, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon.
In addition to Roof, Vandennicker and his children, Moudry is survived by his parents, Marie and James Moudry, of Abingdon, and sister, Jennifer Corbin, of Overlea.
Visitation hours are from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Kaczorowski Funeral Home, 1201 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore. A Christian wake service will be held at the funeral home at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Services will be 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Fullerton Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road in Nottingham. The burial will be at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 E. Padonia Road, Timonium.
The family requests contributions instead of flowers be made to Children of Christopher Moudry, Mercantile Bank and Trust, 4201 Chapel Road, Perry Hall.