Chris Splinter, raised on a farm in Platteville, WI, was a man with strong personal values. His father, Virgil, taught him the importance of hard work, integrity and discipline. From his mother, Barbara, Chris learned compassion and kindness. His 11 brothers and sisters taught him the importance of family. He carried these values into his marriage to his high school sweetheart, Penny, and his role as a father to their two beautiful children, Mitchell and Rachel.
Chris was passionate about sports. He excelled on the football field of Platteville High School, where his leadership and command of teamwork began to blossom. His classmates established the Christopher J. Splinter Scholarship Fund to honor him and his commitment to education and service as well as to ensure his memory lives on for generations to come.
Chris joined the ROTC program at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in 1986. As a Distinguished Military Graduate, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1990. He was commissioned as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers in 1989, and his service took him to many parts of the country and the world. He was stationed in Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Korea and Iraq. All the while, he maintained a dedication to his family and a love of hunting, fishing, card playing, the Packers and Wisconsin.
Some of Major Splinter’s many awards and commendations include the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf clusters, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, and completion of the elite Sapper Leader Course (twice). He earned his Combat Patch for service with the 4th Infantry Division, and the Bronze Star for his meritorious service and bravery while in combat operations in Iraq. Chris also was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for his ultimate sacrifice.
In a Christmas letter to his parents, Maj. Christopher J. Splinter said he believed the U.S. efforts in Iraq were progressing slowly, but in a positive direction. “We will be successful, but must dig in our heals for the long term”, Splinter wrote. “Ten years from now, Iraq will be the show state in the Middle East. This is dependent on America not losing hope and forcing the Army to depart early. “, Splinter, 43, of Platteville, Wis., died Dec. 24 near Samarra, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in hit a homemade bomb. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Fort Leonard Wood”s Col. Paul Kelly visited Splinter”s 5th Engineer Battalion in Iraq about two months before Splinter died, and the men talked with pride about rebuilding six schools and repairing other infrastructure ripped apart by the war. “I remember sitting down with Maj. Splinter and discussing the operation”, Kelly said. “We talked about his family. He also expressed pride in being able to serve his country”. Splinter joined the ROTC program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1986. He graduated with a bachelor”s degree in business administration in 1990 and went on active duty as an engineer. He is survived by his wife, Penny _ who had been his high school sweetheart _ and their children, 13-year-old Mitchell and 10-year-old Rachel.
PLATTEVILLE-A University of Wisconsin-Platteville alumnus lost his life while carrying out duties in conjunction with Operation Iraqi Freedom.
U.S. Army Major Christopher J. Splinter, 43, was killed on Christmas Eve. The Department of Defense stated Splinter and two other soldiers were killed when their Humvee struck an improvised explosive device on Highway One near Sumara, Iraq. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is still under investigation.
Splinter, originally from Platteville, graduated from Platteville High School in 1979 and UW-Platteville in 1990 with a degree in business administration. While attending UW-Platteville, Splinter was involved with the R.O.T.C. He was commissioned as an engineering officer after R.O.T.C. graduation.
Splinter was sent to active duty in Korea after his graduation from UW-Platteville. When returning to the states, Splinter worked in Dubuque, Iowa, at the U.S. Army Reserve Center.
Early in July, Splinter traveled from Wainsville, Mo., his current home he shares with his wife Penny (Barton) and two children, Mitchell and Rachel, to Ft. Leonard Wood for instructions and training. Splinter was deployed overseas on July 26. In Iraq, Splinter coordinated combat patrols, raids and weapons searches, which resulted in the capture and destruction of enemy weapons in Iraq.
Funeral services for Splinter were held on Jan. 2 at St. Mary’s Church in Platteville. During the service Splinter was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service and bravery during combat operations and the Purple Heart for his physical sacrifice, and previously was awarded a 4th ID combat patch for his service.
The Platteville High School class of 1979 has established a memorial fund that will be put toward the future education of his children, Mitchell and Rachel. Donations can be made to the Christopher J. Splinter Educational Fund, c/o Clare Bank, 345 W. Pine St., Platteville, WI 53818 (or made to any Clare Bank location.)