CL Marine killed in Afghanistan
Wednesday, July 14 2010
By SARAH SUTSCHEK
CRYSTAL LAKE – The Antoniks had come home
from church Sunday and were getting ready to
go out to eat when the doorbell rang.
Three men were there to tell them that
their son had been killed while serving in
Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Antonik, 29,
died while supporting combat operations in
Helmand province, Afghanistan, long
considered a Taliban stronghold. He was part
of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Antonik's paternal grandmother, Florence,
had been with her son and daughter-in-law
when they were notified.
“My son had gone to open the door, and
there stood three men in their uniforms and
medals,” she said. “They said they wanted to
see his mother, too, and John called his
wife to come down. It was just a shock.”
Antonik was assigned to 1st Marine
Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine
Corps Forces Special Operations Command at
Camp Pendleton in California. He and his
wife, Erin, whom he married in December,
shared an apartment in California.
“We just cried and cried,” Antonik's
grandmother said. “It was a hard thing to
Antonik, who graduated from Prairie Ridge
High School, joined the Marine Corps on May
23, 2001, and was trained as a
reconnaissance man. He was promoted to staff
sergeant Feb. 1, 2009, joining the special
ops Sept. 24, 2009.
It was Antonik's third tour overseas
after two tours in Iraq.
“He wanted to serve his country, and he
worked very hard at it,” Florence Antonik
said. “He was such a fine boy. I love him
very much and I watched him grow up.”
In a 2001 interview with the Northwest
Herald, Antonik's father, John, spoke about
his fears after his son joined the Marine
Corps, but said that the family was in God's
“We have anxiety, but not much at this
point,” he said. “I guess the reason we feel
this way is because he got his wish. This is
something he wanted to do, even in high
When his father came home from work,
Christropher Antonik would rappel down a
tree in his front yard as a greeting. He had
hoped to one day become a Navy SEAL.
Christopher Antonik's decorations
included a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement
Medal, three Marine Corps Good Conduct
Medals, a Combat Action Ribbon, four Sea
Service Deployment Ribbons, an Afghanistan
Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism
Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on
Terrorism Service Medal, two Iraq Campaign
Medals, the National Defense Service Medal,
and two Navy Unit Commendations.
Antonik also is survived by his sister,
Jennifer. He is the sixth service member
from McHenry County to have died while
serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the third
from Crystal Lake.
Born May 4, 1981, in Chicago, to John and
Cindy Antonik, he was killed in action
Sunday, July 11, 2010, in Helmand Province,
Afghanistan. He was united in marriage to
Erin Gilbert on Dec. 12, 2009. For over nine
years, he proudly served our nation as a
member of the Marine Corps.
To honor Staff Sgt. Antonik, a memorial
fund is being established through the Force
Recon Association. To donate, visit
forcerecon.com or mail to FRA, P.O. Box
425, Rowe, MA 01367 and designate Staff Sgt.
Christopher Antonik on the memo line.
On-line condolences may be sent to the