|Birth: ||Mar. 15, 1972|
|Death: ||Jun. 28, 2005, Afghanistan|
Erik S. Kristensen VIRGINIA BEACH
Lt. Cmdr. Erik Samsel Kristensen, U.S. Navy, 33, was killed in action June 28, 2005, in Afghanistan. A SEAL, Kristensen was leading a recovery effort to rescue other SEALs who were coming under hostile fire when the Chinook helicopter transporting his unit was shot down by Afghan insurgents, leaving no survivors. He had been nominated posthumously for the Bronze Star with "V" for valor and the Purple Heart for his actions. He was the son of retired Navy Rear Adm. Edward and Suzanne Kristensen of Washington, D.C. Kristensen was born March 15, 1972, at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. He graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. in 1990, where he played football and lacrosse. Selected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Athletic and Scholarship Program, he graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Mass., in 1991, after which he entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a midshipman. At the Academy, Kristensen was on the varsity crew team and graduated in 1995 with a bachelorís degree in English. Kristensen was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1995 and reported to Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) in Newport, R.I., for training. Upon completion of SWOS, he reported to USS Chandler (DDG 96), homeported in Everett, Wash., where he served in the engineering department. He then reported to Small Boat Unit Five in Coronado, Calif. He returned to the Naval Academy in 1999 to teach English at the invitation of the Academy; at the same time, he began graduate studies at St. Johnís College in Annapolis. Kristensen left Annapolis in 2000 when he was selected for the Navyís Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) program and reported to Coronado, Calif., for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training at the age of 27. After successfully completing BUD/S as the oldest member of his class, he reported to SEAL Team Ten in Little Creek, Va. Kristensen was on deployment to Afghanistan with SEAL Team Ten at the time of his death. A French speaker, in 2005, Kristensen was selected to participate in the prestigious Olmsted Scholar program. The Olmsted Scholar program is an elite program for top military line officers; selected officers serve as full-time graduate students at foreign universities. Kristensen was to begin study at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris this fall. Kristensen is survived by his parents; his maternal grandmother, Cathreen Samsel of Crofton, Md.; his paternal grandfather, Raymond A. Kristensen of Frankfort, Ind.; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; his classmates and shipmates; his fellow SEALs; and the thousands of men and women around the world fighting the war on terrorism. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2005, at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel, followed by interment at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. A memorial service including his fellow SEALs is planned for 10 a.m. Friday at the base auditorium at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va. Funeral arrangements are in the care of Taylor Funeral Home of Annapolis, Md. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Erik S. Kristensen Memorial Scholarship Fund established at the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Athletic and Scholarship Program. The fund will help qualified young men and women who want to attend the Naval Academy by providing one year of post-high school education to prepare them for the rigors of the Naval Academy curriculum. For more information, the Foundation may be contacted at (410) 267-8651.
Obituary, Virginian-Pilot, July 7, 2005.
United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Anne Arundel County
Created by: Garver Graver
Record added: Sep 02, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11665687