FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Next to the framed photo was a pair a polished jump boots, a maroon beret and identification tags, sitting in front of an audience of Soldiers, friends, and family members.

A memorial ceremony to honor the life and service of Lt. Col. Christian Blevins, previously with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, took place at the 82nd Airborne Division Chapel on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, May 15, 2019. Blevins was posthumously promoted from major to lieutenant colonel.

The Virgin Islands native was 39 years old at the date of his passing. He held two masters degrees and a plethora of awards and decorations.

"He was a dependable leader who knew how to make everyone laugh, and he was passionate about his family and military service.," said Cpt. Mauro Bazan, speaker at the event and commander of Signal Intelligence and Sustainment Company, HHbn., XVIII Abn. Corps

Blevins lost his fight with cancer April 23, 2019. The paratrooper passed away in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

The ceremony concluded with Soldiers standing at attention during the last roll call by 1st Sgt. Simpson Barber, Headquarters Support Company, HHBn., XVIII Abn. Corps.

"Sergeant First Class Mesa," Barber shouted.

"Here first sergeant," was the reply.

"First Lieutenant Yesmin," Barber called.

"Here first sergeant," Yesmin replied.

"Captain Mills," Barber queried.

"Here first sergeant," Mills responded.

"Lieutenant Colonel Blevins."

No response.

"Lieutenant Colonel Christian Blevins."

No response.

"Lieutenant Colonel Christian David Blevins."

No response.

A three-volley gun salute echoed from beyond the stained-glass windows that wrapped the sides of the chapel. A moment of silence ensued.

As the speakers filed out, family members had a final moment with Blevins' monument.

"It was an honor and immeasurable privilege to serve with Lt. Col. Blevins the last seven months," said Cpt. Ashley Wilkins, commander of Alpha Company, Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Battalion. "We choose who we will be in this life, and he chose a life of service."

When the ceremony was over, several Soldiers approached Blevins framed photo and saluted him, one last time.