On a meaningful day for many across the country, we remember our Former Wildcat and local hero, Chris Moon this Memorial Day!
For those that don’t know the amazing story of local hero and former Wildcat Chris Moon, pay attention, because it’s a good one, and one worth telling!
If you were to look in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and look-up the word hero, it would define the word as an illustrious warrior, or a person admired for achievements and noble qualities. That couldn’t be any truer than for Moon.
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What makes the story about Moon so incredible, is the tremendous character and selflessness he showed, making some truly remarkable sacrifices!
It takes a truly special person to sacrifice everything they have, when they feel they are called upon to serve for a higher purpose! That purpose for Moon was to serve his country by fighting for the amazing freedoms we hold so dear.
A phenomenal athlete at Tucson High School, located less than a mile from Arizona’s campus, Moon would be drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 35th round of the 2007 MLB Draft following a tremendous high school career.
Although never officially signing with the Braves, he would instead end up enrolling at his dream school, the University of Arizona. Moon would have the intent to play for then head coach Andy Lopez.
However, that’s where things would take an unexpected turn. After spending just a semester at Arizona, Moon would then make the most difficult choice, quitting the team and baseball, and instead enlisting in the Army. The former baseball player would turn in his cleats, glove and bat, for a rifle and boots.
Finding success just like everything he did prior to joining the military, Moon would become an excellent marksman in his time served.
However, just two years later, a once promising career was tragically cut short, when the former baseball star was killed while in Afghanistan in 2010.
Targeted because of his unique skill, Moon would pass away from the injuries he had sustained, when an IED was detonated beneath him by Taliban soldiers in the Arghandab Valley. He was just 20!
Now nearly nine years since his death, we still honor him and those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
While his story lives on, a life-size statue now sits perfectly perched overlooking the pristine baseball diamonds of Cherry Field in his honor!
For his service, Moon was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and numerous other honors.
While he never played at the University of Arizona, his legend and sacrifice lives on, and it’s days like today that we honor Moon and countless others!
At Zona Zealots, we’re thankful to all our amazing men and women who have and continue to serve! Thank you and as always, Bear Down, Arizona!