Christopher B. Shay, 2nd Lieutenant

Lt. Shay

Lt. Shay

January 23, 1947-november 17, 2002

He graduated from The Citadel in 1996. He had played football, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, hockey, and rugby, but rugby was his favorite sport. In addition he was a dedicated surfer and skate/snowboarder. He played on the Boston Old Gold, Boca Raton Buccaneers, and most recently the Marine Rugby teams.

He was the Honor Graduate of his class from Parris Island. He further volunteered and was selected to enter into the Force Recon School program and graduated at the top as well.

2nd Lt. Christopher Shay, while on a humanitarian mission in Indonesia as part of Expeditionary Force, died on November 17, 2002. According to Congressional testimony, Shay committed suicide after making 12 requests for assistance to the ships physician within a 32 hour period.

Shay, who was born in Framingham and grew up in Weston, Massachusetts was 28.

Although he grew up in Weston, Shay always told people he was from Framingham.

"I asked him why he always told people he was from Framingham, and he said, `because I'm a simple guy, and I don't want people to think I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth, a spoiled Weston brat,'" Palmer said.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1999, much to the chagrin of his mother.

"I asked him, `Tell me one more time why he had to be a Marine officer? You're my only child,'" Palmer said. "He said, `Mom, one day I'm going to be at a red light, it could be in a beat-up Volkswagen, or it could be a shiny, new Lexus. I just want to know I gave something and did something positive in this world.' He was an Irish-Catholic kid who believed if you got something good, you gave something back."

"My husband was the best of the best of the lieutenants," said Meredith Shay. "He took care of his guys. He was there for all of them. A couple of enlisted men got in trouble at the port, they weren't part of his company, but he spent all of his time making sure nothing happened to them.

The tragedy of Christopher’s Shay’s death is that he reached out for help and was denied. The same Congressional testimony reflected that service members who were struggling were told to “shut up, suck it up, and don’t write your congressman”