Army Ranger from Lowcountry dies in Afghanistan supporting counter-terrorism operation

An Army Ranger with local ties died in Afghanistan yesterday

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - An Army Ranger assigned to Hunter Army Airfield died in Afghanistan on Thursday after being wounded by small arms fire.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, was supporting a medical evacuation landing zone when he was killed. According to the Department of Defense, there is an investigation into the incident.

He was on his fifth deployment.

"The 75th Ranger Regiment suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Sgt. 1st Class Chris Celiz. The Celiz family has been a critical component of our team and their community in Savannah, Georgia," said Col. Brandon Tegtmeier, Commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. "Chris was a national treasure who led his Rangers with passion, competence, and an infectiously positive attitude no matter the situation. He will be greatly missed."

He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

Celiz was from Summerville, South Carolina. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

He was a part of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, a mission dedicated to counter-terrorism in Afghanistan.

Celize was deployed from 2008 to 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and from 2011 to 2012 in support of operation Enduring Freedom.

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