About Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis
“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
Corporal Christopher K. Willis grew up in Paw Paw, Michigan, joined the Marines in 1999 and completed his boot camp training at Camp Pendleton, California, in December of 1999. Christopher graduated from USMC Engineering School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in April of 2000 with a 4.0 GPA (2nd in a class of 40).
After Lejeune, he was attached to Bridge Company Alpha, 6th Engineer Support Company, 4th FSSG in Battle Creek, Michigan. In early 2003, Lance Corporal Willis was activated by the USMC.
After deployment to Kuwait, and just prior to the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was hand selected for the Marine Reconnaissance Team and was on the front lines as his seven man team scouted the forward area for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
Christopher came home a hero to Paw Paw, Michigan, in June of 2003. Six weeks later, on July 18, 2003, while still on active duty, Lance Corporal Willis, at the age of 24, died in a tragic automobile accident on I-94 near Battle Creek, Michigan.
After his death, Christopher was promoted to the rank of Corporal, gaining the title of a Non-Commissioned Officer and gaining his NCO blood stripe. Corporal Willis was buried with full military honors in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan.
"I am fit to Live." -Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis
-In Honor and Memory-
Beloved Son and Brother
Chris loved the Marines but his love for family pervaded every element of his life. He was a dedicated brother and loving son, which is why we honor his memory by looking after those left behind when a soldier pays the ultimate price on the battlefield.
Chris enjoyed being around others, sharing laughs and good stories with his fellow Marines. Remembering him, always quick with a joke and an infectious smile, we also remember those who selflessly serve our country.
A proud and dedicated Marine, Chris was confident that he had become the man he was meant to be. We encourage you to cherish his service and the service of all our U.S. Armed Services men and women by supporting our cause.