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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Former Student dies in FBI Training exercise; loved family, team, country

 
 

As a father and husband, a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and a part of the Aggie family, Christopher Lorek, Class of 1993, was characterized by friends, family and teammates as constantly working toward something larger than himself.
Lorek and teammate Stephen Shaw were killed May 17 in a maritime counterterrorism exercise off the coast of Virginia Beach.
Janet Lorek, Christopher’s mother, said her son was one of many incredible members of the highly specialized team.
“These are extraordinary people and I think you have to wonder, ‘Where do these people come from? What makes these people so unique?'” Janet said.
The FBI Hostage Rescue was founded in 1983 to be a national counterterrorism unit, offering a tactical option for any extraordinary hostage crisis or other law enforcement situation that may occur within the United States.
Teammate and personal friend Dave, who requested his last name be omitted for security reasons, said Lorek was a very accomplished individual to whom other members of the team often turned to for assistance and advice.
“He was extremely skilled at his job and was the guy who everybody kind of sought advice from to help us become better,” Dave said. “We’d kind of go to him as the go-to guy to help fine-tune our skills. He was just a stand-up guy that would do anything for you at any time – a true professional and a good friend.”
Dave said he and Christopher attended training exercises such as diving school and free fall school together, and that Christopher’s ability to reassure and encourage helped them complete training.
“Jumping out of airplanes at night with equipment on can be a daunting task, but doing it with a guy like Chris really took the stress level down and helped us both stay focused,” Dave said.
Janet said her son always felt a dedication to protect not only the people around him, but his entire country. She said Christopher’s father Bill often told Christopher that it was his responsibility to care for those around him, she said, and this was something he carried with him into adulthood.
“I remember reading something when he was like in fifth grade that he felt that it was going to be his ultimate responsibility to protect his country,” Janet said. “He must have had this deep-seeded feeling about his responsibility to his country.”
Christopher graduated from A&M with a degree in ocean engineering. Janet said his commitment to a strong moral code was what attracted him to the University.
“Texas A&M has a core kind of sense of morality and honor and dedication to their country,” Janet said. “He just walked on that campus and said, ‘This feels right.'”
Dave said Christopher and his wife Jennifer, who he met at A&M, were proud members of the Aggie family even while living in Virginia and had instilled a love for the University in their daughters Abigail and Madeline.
“[Christopher and Jennifer] attended bonfire, football games and loved to hang out at Dudley’s Draw together,” Dave said. “Both of them are super proud of Texas A&M. Abigail, who’s 11 years old, is super excited and wants to go to Texas A&M. They’ve both done a good job passing along the Texas A&M esprit de corps to their daughters.”
Bob Odle, the pastor of the Church of Christ the Lorek family attended in Richmond, Va., said Christopher was a dedicated husband and father and a member of a close and supportive family.
“He loved his girls. He loves his girls,” Odle said. “[I’ve got to] be sure to put that in the present tense. I got in trouble the other day because I said to Abby, ‘Your dad really loved you,’ and she said, ‘He still loves me, doesn’t he?'”
Janet said her son Christopher loved that which was greater than himself – his family, his team and his country. She said he was very humble and would say he was not an individual hero, but member of a team.
“He is not a hero by himself,” Janet said. “Everything he did is part of a team and he doesn’t want anybody to have the idea that he operated alone. Every single thing he does is part of a team. They’re brothers, [the Hostage Rescue team does] everything together. They depend on each other. They’re the best in the world.”

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