Sgt. Christopher Hrbek had a polo shirt that said “Best of both worlds.” In a way, it resprented his dedication to his country as a Marine and his dedication to his community as a firefighter.
As friends and loved ones usher him to yet another world, tributes continue to amass. Some are extremely poignant and touching. Others are so silly and goofy they could make you cry. Most feature a glint that the young soldier always seemed to have, no matter what he did.
These are some of the images and remembrances from yesterday’s procession to the Becker Funeral Home in Westwood.
PHOTO by Kathleen Yeager Frasser
Monica Murphy- Schmitz : As the reality of this tragedy comes home, my heart goes out to Richard Hrbek, Christopher’s father. He has sat back and mourned his loss quietly, unmentioned in news articles. Richard, I know how proud you were of your son and my sympathy to you.
PHOTO by Renee Eichler Barraga
Anthony Michael: Out of all the funny memories I’ve had the pleasure of having with him, my favorite memory with Chris was more of a serious one. We had just finished winning a state championship in H.S. and everyone was crying. Chris came up to me and gave me a huge hug. He said to me with the big smile that he always had on, “AD we… did it!! State Champs man!!! And no one can ever take this away from us!” He was just so proud of our team and what we had accomplished together… and that moment brings me to today. Today we all stand in remembrance of him, proud to have known such an incredible kid who died way too young. A person who always wore his heart on his sleeve and had a couple jokes up them just to break the ice. Today Chris, you’re a true hero, and no one will ever take that away from you. I know I speak for everyone who’s ever had the privilege of knowing you when I say that we love you and we will always remember what you’ve done for all of us. Till the day we meet again bud…RIP”
PHOTO by Renee Eichler Barraga
Christian Wasser : From all your old boys from Lima with you in the fight in the ‘stan, we miss you something fierce. Wish you were still here!
: You changed my life in a very short amount of time. you taught me about the corps, how to be a good friend, husband, and corpsman, but most of all you taught me how to enjoy life even if its not going that great. you will always be remembered and i’ll see you again one day brother. i love you.
Stacey Seablade Hoskins: I proudly took this pictures of my boys at Westwood’s Hero procession and out of respect for our fallen friend.. the salute was their idea…”Mom it’s for Chris..”
PHOTO by Stacey Seablade Hoskins
Scott Mitchell: What a heartfelt homecoming today in Westwood. Thank you Sgt. Hrbek for your sacrifice for us & our country. This world is a much better place because of Men like you. Your service will always be remembered. Rich, I am so sorry for your loss. God Bless you & your family!!
hrbek PHOTO by Laura Sarno Gormley
Laura Sarno Gormley
Sgt. Christopher Hrbek, a man with a heart as big as the country that he loved and defended. Thank you for including me in your life. I am twice your age, but I learned so much from you. The main thing you taught was to live each day making others smile. It was my honor to know you. Your energetic spirit will never be forgotten. You will always be in my heart. Much Love to a true hero.
: I can’t ever thank you enough for everything you’ve done for us… It takes a special man have accomplished all you have.. I’m so proud to know you. Thanks always for The Doors.. And for Being MY Hero.
[PHOTOS and COMMENTS courtesy FACEBOOK.COM]
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