Army Specialist Craig Amundson was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He grew up in the town of Anamosa where he often played pick-up football on the playground and fished at the creek with his buddies. Craig played football at Anamosa High School and graduated in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1996.
In his early twenties, he married Amber and together they had two children – Elliot Reed and Charlotte Marion.
Craig chose a career serving his country in the U.S. Army — he wanted to be where he could be a part of a large organization that was working in human interest. He felt it was a perfect opportunity to use his talents in a way that was part of the bigger picture. He believed that by working within the military he could help maintain the military focus on peacekeeping and strategic planning. In fact, the last two years of his life he drove to his job at the Pentagon with a visualize world peace bumper sticker on his car.
Craig worked as an enlisted specialist under Lieutenant General Timothy J. Maude doing multimedia illustration. During his military service, Craig received the Military Achievement Award, given by General Ohle in 1999, and Expert Rifleman. He was also awarded the Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Award posthumously.
These are the ‘facts’ about Craig but as is often the case, they don’t really tell the story of a person. From his picture I would say he was happy by nature and cheerful. He had goals to forward the cause of world peace and so to me that meant he cared deeply about his fellow man and the human condition. As an artist, I’m sure he felt connected to others and was inspired to bring beauty into the world in whatever way he could. I think I would have liked this young man and others would have been lucky to call him a friend.
And I think we can all hope that Craig’s dream of promoting peace among all peoples will someday come true.
“It is not the length of life, but the depth.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson