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Update: Hundreds Line Route to Salute Officer Killed in Afghanistan

Navy Lt. Christopher Mosko's remains were returned to Coronado, where he was assigned to the amphib base.

For additional coverage, please see companion piece, A Sobering Sight: Viewing and Being Part of Lt. Mosko's Procession.

 

Update 3:50 p.m., with new quotes, video and photos from the base, and photos from the procession on 4th Street and in San Diego.

 

Mourners gathered at North Island Naval Air Station Thursday as the remains of , where he was assigned to the Naval Amphibious Base.

Hundreds of officers and sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal units attended the ceremony, along with Mosko's wife, parents and other family members. Mosko served with EOD Mobile Unit 3.

Each of his loved ones was escorted in turn to take a moment beside his casket outside the charter plane, as members of the Patriot Guard Riders held flags aloft. As the family stood with the casket, an officer walked Mosko's poodle mix, Bailey, out to join them.

The brief ceremony concluded with the family following the casket in a procession through Coronado, over the bridge, and to a Hillcrest mortuary. Mosko and his wife Amanda resided in University Heights.

. He and two others were killed April 26 when an improvised explosive device detonated beneath their vehicle as they returned from a combat mission. He had been in Afghanistan since January.

Lt. Cmdr. Gareth Healy, the executive officer for Mobile Unit 3, described Mosko as personable and kind, but someone who could stand his ground when needed.

“He excelled in what he did. More so he was a great leader for the people that worked with him  and the people that worked around him,” Healy said.

Most of Village Elementary School's students lined up along 4th Street to view the hearse, escorted by the riders and several emergency vehicles; two classes from Coronado Middle School joined them, along with some Coronado High School students. 

The Rotary Club provided flags for those who lined the route. Several Marines were among the crowd.

Major Dave Handy said he didn't known Mosko, but he felt compelled to salute him.

“We want to give him the same pomp and circumstance that we would have expected for our own fallen,” he said.

Craig Donor, one of the Patriot riders – who help escort processions for fallen service members – explained the message he hopes people who viewed the procession will take from it.

“Remember this man, and many others, have given their lives so that you can be free,” he said.

Mosko will be laid to rest Friday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in private ceremonies.  

He hailed from Worchester, MA., graduated high school in Eau Claire, WI and holds a bachelor's degree in commerce and engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

While in the Navy, he also served aboard the USS Carl Vinson and aided in the 2010 earthquake recovery effort in Haiti.

He has been awarded a posthumous Bronze Star and Purple Heart. 

 

Christine Huard and Gloria Tierney contributed to this report.

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