Body Of Slain Navy Lieutenant Returns To SD

Public Invited To Pay Respects Along Processional Route

The body of a Coronado-based Navy lieutenant killed in action in Afghanistan arrived at Naval Air Station North Island Thursday from Delaware's Dover Air Force Base.

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Christopher Mosko, 28, and two other service members were killed when a bomb exploded underneath their vehicle on April 26 in Ghazni Province in Afghanistan's Nawa district, near the Pakistani border. Mosko served in Explosive Ordnance Mobile Unit 3, a highly specialized job of disarming just the kind of explosives that killed him.

Standing nearby was a group consisting of members of the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Removal Teams. Closer to the plane were rows of flag-bearing members of the Patriot Guard Riders, ready to escort the funeral procession.

Mosko's wife, Amanda, leaned down to kiss her husband's flag-draped coffin, and then she held on to it for a moment. The couple's beloved dog, Bailey, was standing by her side.

Hundreds of Coronado residents lined Fourth Street to pay their respects, some carrying American flags, as Mosko's body was carried as part of a motorcade to a mortuary in Hillcrest.

"He respected our country, so this is just a great way to celebrate his life," said 10-year-old Ryan Wood, who watched the procession.

Deeba Zaher, principal of Coronado Village Elementary School, said, "This is all part of learning about our country and what's important."

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Paul Bustamante was among many members of the armed forces lining the streets.

"That's why we're standing here to honor the lieutenant and to welcome him home," he said.

"He excelled in what he did and more so, he was a great leader for the people that worked with him and the people that worked around him," Lt. Cmdr. Gareth Healy said.

A private memorial service is scheduled for Friday at Naval Base Point Loma, followed by burial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Mosko was a native of Worchester, Mass., and graduated from Drexel University before moving with his wife to San Diego. His family lives in Pittsford, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester.

Johnny Campbell, 10, said of the Mosko family, "I would hope they recover from their sadness from all this."

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