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StarBulletin.com

Maui soldier took care of his family


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POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2009

WAILUKU » While on leave from the Army, Spc. Christopher P. Sweet would return home to Maui and help take his ailing father to the doctor.

Family members later moved from Maui to be with him in Germany, recalled Cindy Natividad, who managed the housing where they lived.

"He was a very nice boy. He was helpful to the family," said Natividad, manager of Luana Gardens.

Sweet, 28, a 1999 graduate of Maui High School, died last Friday, 21/2 months into a yearlong mission in Iraq.

Military officials said Sweet sustained injuries in a noncombat incident in Kirkush, but released no details. They are investigating the death.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Grafenwoehr Chapel in Germany, according to the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Looking at a photograph of Sweet in his military uniform, Natividad said he "looked all grown up" and did not look like the young man who spent his teenage years in Kahului.

"When he left, he looked a little chubby. When he came back from basic training, he'd slimmed down a lot," she said.

Natividad said Sweet's father, Peter, was a military veteran. "He was proud when his son joined," she said.

She said Peter Sweet had a foot problem, and when on leave, his son would take him to the doctor.

She said Christopher Sweet had worked for several years after high school at various jobs on Maui before joining the military.

Natividad said Sweet adopted his younger brother, who was elementary-school age at the time. Sweet took his brother, and his father and mother joined them later.

He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Sweet is survived by father Peter, mother Christina and brother Kyle, according to the Army.