He was a 2007 graduate of Smithsburg High School.
Christiaan Bush started thinking about enlisting in the armed forces when he was about 6 years old, his mother said Thursday.
"I wouldn’t let him do it right out of high school," said Amy Werner of Clear Spring.
So instead of going into the service at that point, he enrolled in Universal Technical Institute in Exton, Pa., to study auto mechanics, Werner said.
When Bush finished that training, he still wanted to go into the military, Werner said.
"That was his way of contributing and doing his part. He had a passion for it," she said.
Bush, 22, a Hagerstown resident and a 2007 graduate of Smithsburg High School, was killed Sunday night at Fort Stewart, Ga., when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car, a post official said Wednesday.
Bush was riding north on Ga. 119 near the Noncommissioned Officer Academy when a car attempted to pass a pickup truck and another car, post spokesman Kevin Larson said.
When the car and Bush’s motorcycle collided, his motorcycle slid under it, Larson said.
Werner said her son was heading back to his barrack when the crash occurred.
She said Christiaan, who was a tank gunner stationed at Fort Stewart, received an Army Achievement Medal among other honors and had been performing duties she didn’t even know about, such as going up in Black Hawk helicopters.
"Keeping it from mom," Werner said.
Bush, who was serving in the Third Infantry Division, enlisted on Jan. 4, 2011, at Fort Knox, Ky., and graduated from boot camp on April 29, 2011, his mother said. Bush was sent to Fort Stewart on May 9 and had just been promoted to private first class, Werner said.
Werner described her son as level-headed, having a big heart and always being concerned about his family.
"He made sure he was taking care of everybody," Werner said.
Bush attended Grace Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Pa., played for Valley Little League in Chewsville and enjoyed hunting and fishing with his grandfather, his mother said.
Bush attended Heritage Academy before he graduated from Smithsburg High. He and his fiancee, Meagan Bromley of Greencastle, Pa., had been together for seven years, Werner said.