The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


March 25, 2009

Name: J.P. Borda
Posting date: 3/25/09
Returned from: Kuwait/Iraq
Hometown: Burke, Virginia

Sgt. Christopher P. Abeyta, 23, of Midlothian, Illinois, was killed last week while serving in Afghanistan. Sgt. Abeyta and three others who were with him, Sgt. Robert M. Weinger, Spc. Norman Cain III, and Sgt Timothy Bowles, were killed when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by an IED.

Sgt. Abeyta ran a military blog from Afghanistan called The Chronicles of Butters!  and according to a news story Sgt. Abeyta had kept a journal since he was 11-years old. 

Framed Borda thechroniclesofbutters

The Southtown Star reports:

"Sgt. Abeyta had survived a year in Iraq and was on his second deployment, in eastern Afghanistan, in the region that borders Pakistan, when the vehicle he was riding in hit an improvised explosive device set by the Taliban..."

The Southtown Star story also shares his passion for writing:

"While deployed, he wrote entries in his ever-present journal, stories on two blogs and letters to his family. His mother held tightly Tuesday to one from November, which she read aloud on her back patio, demanding that his grandmother, Elvira Abeyta, and local veterans gathered around her know the man she raised.

"I know you don't enjoy the path I have chosen for myself but trust me it's so very rewarding," she read. "You know I know it bothers you that I am here. ... but what kind of person would I be, Ma, if I didn't try to make this better.

"OK?" she said at the end. "That's my son."

My prayers and thoughts go out to the family, friends of Sgt. Abeyta and all of America’s fallen and wounded. If you’d like to make donations, according to another Southown Star story:

"The Abeyta family has requested donations be made to a fund for the family of Spc. Norman Cain III, 22, who died with Abeyta in the same explosion and left behind a wife and two children..."

Note: Mike, an Air Force Staff Sergeant who was also on the mission, wrote this tribute to the four men, on his blog A Year in Afghanistan.


‘In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give.’ Gen. MacArthur.

Rest in Peace, Sgt Abeyta
and Ssgt Bowles, Spc Cain, Spc. Weinger

What a sweet funny guy. What a brief time we had him. My heart goes out to his family and the other families.

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