Christopher Rogan, a 2006 graduate of Berlin High School, has died following an incident in Kentucky, according to a family member.
Rogan was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the family member, Christopher, the son of David and Grace Rogan of Berlin, had served a tour in Afghanistan. He returned to the United States just before Thanksgiving in 2012 and was assigned to the Kentucky base.
"Our family is devastated about his death and are looking for answers," said his aunt, Donna Rogan.
A call has been placed to the Army base for more information on Rogan's death. Patch will update the story as more information is released.
Social media lit up Monday night when word of his passing quickly made its way through the Berlin High School and Berlin communities.
"Chris and I we had a lot of friends in common," fellow Berlin High classmate Sarah Moskey told Patch. "I had a lot of respect for him. He was always kind and respectful, extremely intelligent and very driven. He had always talked about serving his country and was so proud to have gotten into West Point. I remember him being honored at our senior awards night for having gotten accepted, how proud he looked, and how proud he made all of us feel for having known him. He left our graduation party early because he was leaving for training the next morning.
Rogan attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 2006-2010 and graduated with a degree in Defense & Strategic Studies, French and Environmental Engineering. He also graduated the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Basic Course in January 2011 and U.S. Army Ranger School in April 2011, according to his linked in profile.
Rogan was a platoon Leader of a 39-man Air Assault Rifle Platoon. He was responsible for training, tactical employment, property accountability and welfare of Soldiers in that platoon.
Other classmates praised Rogan as a great friend and a proud member of the military:
"My most recent memory of Chris was this past winter break. I saw him out at a bar with friends in West Hartford. I didn't even recognize him at first. He looked great, and seemed really happy and confident, and I made it a point to tell him so. I hope that he has found peace. Everyone from the class of 2006 will remember him fondly and with pride."
Another classmate visited Rogan at West Point.
"At the end of the summer in 2006, Chris had completed a few months at West Point," said BHS classmate Meg Schneider. "Family and friends were invited up to the academy to spend the afternoon with the cadets, and Chris' parents, brother, a few of his friends and myself went to see him. I will never forget the overwhelming amount of pride I felt in Chris when we saw him for the first time: he was in uniform, standing tall and straight, with this sense of confidence I don't believe I had yet experienced from anyone. You could just tell that Chris was in his element, and this was exactly where he was meant to be.
"That afternoon as we spent time with Chris, he cracked jokes like usual and told us with excitement about what he had been learning and experiencing the past few months. I can't forget the proud looks in his parents' eyes as he spoke about it; Chris had achieved an amazing accomplishment which he had worked incredibly hard for. Although he was thoroughly exhausted from the months prior (so much so that he took a small nap in a lawn chair while we all sitting and chatting on the lawn,) you could tell he was eager to continue his time at West Point.
"The visit was short, but the image I have of Chris that day is still vivid; I'll never forget that respect I felt for him when seeing him stand at attention the first time, the looks of pride in his parents' eyes, and the confidence he exuded. It was truly a remarkable day, one I'm incredibly glad to have experienced."
"Chris was the type of kid that knew the right thing to say," said Josh Cornwall. "He never spoke out of turn and when he did have something to say, people stopped and listened. He was respectful and just a genuinely nice guy to be around."