Niagara Gazette

July 22, 2013

Community comes out to honor fallen soldier in Newfane

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

The Newfane community paid tribute to a local soldier as he was laid to rest in Corwin Cemetery on Monday.

Private First Class Christopher Kent Heinz, 25, drowned July 14 at Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Slado. He had been stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas.

Residents lined Main Street in Newfane and waved American flags as the hearse carrying his body drove by about noon Monday on its way from Grace Bible Church to Corwin Cemetery.

Heinz entered active-duty service in Jan. 2012 as a combat engineer. He was assigned to Company C, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in May 2012.

Capt. Daniel G. McKew, who was Heinz's company commander, called him "one of our best," making a "great impact" on the unit despite only being there for a little more than a year.

"He was what you wanted all your soldiers to be like," McKew said in a statement. "If he was presented with a challenge, he worked his tail off to overcome the challenge. He constantly worked to improve himself."

Heinz's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Heinz graduated from Newfane High School in 2007.

He is survived by his wife, Kelli Grembolwitz Heinz, his parents Michael and Linda, a brother, Jack of Lockport and three grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins.