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Apr 21, 2014 10:39 AM by Ryan Haarer

Family and coaches hope to memorialize a Tucson hero

TUCSON- A local hero lost his life in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan, an area known as the Devil's Playground. Chris Moon, destined to play pro ball, gave up everything to serve his country. It's that selflessness his family and coaches hope to instill in as many people as possible at cherry field where he used to play.

"He just believes in something bigger than himself. And obviously with baseball, he was a good baseball player and not just for himself, for his teammates," said Brian Moon, Chris' father.

Chris was a natural athlete. He could throw over 90 mph. The Atlanta Braves and The Arizona Wildcats both wanted Chris to play. So when Tucson High baseball coach Oscar Romero heard Chris was choosing a different path, he picked up the phone.

"It's a dangerous world out there and I said it's just one of those things that I fear for what possibly could happen to you," said Coach Oscar Romero.

That fear became reality. Towards the end of their mission in Afghanistan an improvised explosive device went off under Chris, now an experienced sniper. He died in the hospital days later.

"You know not having him here is probably the worst thing that we went through," said Sunday Moon, Chris' sister. The two were very close.

But Tucson High and Chris' family won't let him go for good. Head athletic trainer Mike Boese has a vision for a statue of Chris to be put up overlooking the fields where the star athlete used to play.

"One side of the statue would be him as a Tucson High Baseball player. The other side of the statue would not be the back of him it would be also a front of him but as a United States soldier," said Boese.

It's not just a statue. It's a message, to every fan, and every player that will see it. A message to think of others, and to love the precious moments a short life offers. Just like Chris always did.

"You know you hope to instill something good in your child. To love life, to be happy, to enjoy the things god has blessed us with. And I think that's what he carried with him," said his mother, Marsha Moon.

To contribute to the Chris Moon Memorial fund and help put up this statue visit www.gofundme.com/Chris-Moon-memorial.

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