Alabama Governor, Patriot Guard Riders to Attend
Sergeant Christopher Roger Bell, 21, of Red Bay, AL was killed in the Alingar District, Lagham Province of Afghanistan on June 4th when a roadside bomb exploded, leaving Bell and three of his fellow soldiers dead. Bell’s funeral service will be held in Columbus, where his mother Barbara Bell was raised.
The visitation will be from 6-9 Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home on 716 2nd Avenue North and the funeral service will begin Friday at 2:00pm at Memorial Funeral Home, with full military escort to Living Faith Tabernacle Cemetery. The Patriot Guard Riders Motorcycle Club will be in Columbus for the ceremony and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will attend the memorial Thursday night.
He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal, and Combat Action Badge, posthumously. He was also awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge and Overseas Service Bar.
The son of Timothy Roger and Barbara Wooten Bell, SGT Bell was born January 5, 1990 in St. Joseph, MI. A graduate of Tremont, MS High School, he enlisted in the United States Army in February, 2008. He was a member of the 164th Military Police Company, 793rd MP Battalion, 3MEB at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather Frank Bell and an uncle Timothy Pugh.
He is survived by his wife Samantha Lucas Bell and daughter Lana Nicole Bell, both of Fort Richardson, AK, his parents Timothy and Barbara Bell, and brothers Zachary and Timothy Joseph Bell, all of Red Bay, AL. He is also survived by his maternal grandparents James and Mary Wooten of Vernon, AL, his paternal grandmother Judith Pitcher of MI, his mother and father –in-law Vera and Roger Lucas and his brother – in law Roger Lucas, all of Vina, Al.
Army Specialists Andrew Fettig, Patrick Fry, Robert Worthington and PFC William Berreman, all members of 793rd MP Battalion, will serve as pallbearers in addition to the Mississippi Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Memorials may be made in SGT Bell’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4889 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 3 Also killed in service alongside Sgt. Bell were: Sgt. Joshua D. Powell of Quitman, Texas; Specialist Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton, N.Y.; and PFC Robert L. Voakes of L’Anse, Michigan
A possible picket was forewarned of by Westboro Baptist Church, a radical church based in Topeka, Kansas. The church, which is renowned for picketing fallen soldiers funerals, issued a press release on Tuesday saying that their message is to be preached in respectful, lawful proximity of the Memorial Funeral Home Friday afternoon at 1:15pm. The church says on its’ website that “God hates America & is killing troops in His wrath”.Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John said Wednesday that he was aware of the possibility of the church’s attendance, and the department will be prepared. The Patriot Guard Riders have confirmed they were invited to attend the ceremony and will be in attendance should the protesters show up. The Patriot Guard was established in 2005 to protect the dignity of funerals from the Westboro Baptist Church picketers.0