Cresco soldier dies in Iraq - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Cresco soldier dies in Iraq


CRESCO, IOWA (KTTC-DT)-- Officials said Wednesday that a 29-year-old soldier from Cresco, Iowa died while serving in Iraq from non-combat injuries.

Christopher Opat had received several awards since joining the Army back in 2003.

"It doesn't really hit home until it's one of your own," says friend Ryan McCarville.

"He was a friend to everybody, never had any enemies that's for sure," McCarville notes.

McCarville grew up with Opat, the two both graduated from Crestwood High School back in 2000.

"He always said hi to you and you could always have a conversation with you, overall a great guy," he adds.

Military officials haven't released any specifics on what happened, only saying Opat died from 'non-combat injuries.'

"It's devastating, it's devastating to everyone," said Cresco resident Evelyn Adamec.

Adamec never knew Opat, but as the mother and wife of two men who have served, she knows this is a tough day for his family.

"Anyone who's every had a loved one in the military suffers a loss at the same time when someone else losses a husband or a child or a family members," she says.

Opat's family is still awaiting word on when his body will be brought back to the United States.

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