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Father of fallen soldier says son was dedicated to service

The father of an Iowa soldier killed in Iraq said his son’s body had arrived back in the United States, and that a Cresco funeral home would coordinate funeral services.

Spc. Christopher Opat, 29, died Tuesday in Baquah, Iraq, from injuries in a non-combat incident, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. A military investigation was ongoing and there were no further details.

Les Opat, 58, of Lime Springs, said Christopher's body was flown into Dover Air Force Base Wednesday evening. The Conway Funeral Home in Cresco was coordinating burial services for the family. No further details were given about services.

Les said he knew something was wrong when two uniformed officials came to his door earlier this week. “That was the type of thing I never wanted to see,” said Opat.

Opat is the 59th Iowa soldier killed in or after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two of Christopher's brothers had served in the armed services and another recently joined the Air Force, Opat said.

Les Opat said his son wanted to make a career in the Army, and after attending Iowa Lakes Community College that’s what he did.

“He had tried to get a job, and he was having, not a hard time finding a job, but he decided that he needed something different,” he said. “He liked the Army and he was dedicated to the Army."

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