Soldier to be buried with full military honors

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

RED BAY, Ala. – A funeral with full military honors for Sgt. Christopher R. Bell, killed in Afghanistan on June 4, is planned for 2 p.m. Friday in Columbus.
Fellow soldiers who went through basic training with Christopher Bell at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., will serve as pallbearers, said his mother, Barbara Bell.
The service will be held at Memorial Funeral Home, with burial at Living Faith Tabernacle Cemetery “next to his uncle,” said Barbara Bell, a Columbus native.
Barbara Bell returned home to Red Bay on Monday evening.
After going to Dover, Del., with her husband, Timothy Bell, last week to meet her son’s body as it was brought back from Afghanistan, she flew to Alaska to comfort Christopher Bell’s wife, Samantha, and daughter, Lana, and help them prepare for the trip to Red Bay.
Christopher Bell was the middle child of three brothers – Timothy Joseph, 23, Christopher, 21, and Zachary, 19.
“Christopher acted like his mother,” Barbara Bell said. “He had my personality and was the only one out of the three that looks like me. Everybody loved him. He always could make anybody laugh or smile.”
The traits that made people outside the family love him were the same ones he demonstrated to his younger brother.
“He looked after me, was more of a daddy figure than a brother figure to me,” Zachary Bell said. “He made sure I made the best decisions. The last time I saw him was Feb. 13, the day he went back to Alaska. He came Feb. 1 and helped me get a new vehicle. We would just hang out and talk a lot, about what he wanted to do in the future. He had three more years and really couldn’t make up his mind, but the route he was going he was going to make a career out of the military.”
Rusty Wells, Christopher Bell’s aunt, will offer the eulogy, and Brother James Gardner of Living Faith Tabernacle will conduct the services.
Bell, of Golden, was reported killed in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, on June 4. He was one of four soldiers killed during an attack on their mounted patrol by insurgents using an improvised explosive device.
The three other soldiers killed were Sgt. Joshua D. Powell of Quitman, Texas; Specialist Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton, N.Y.; and PFC Robert L. Voakes of L’Anse, Mich.
The four were military police who were assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
“He was just outgoing, and this is what he wanted to do,” Barbara Bell said.