Known as “Spider” to all his classmates and teammates, Erik was a proud 1990 graduate of Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. While on Eye Street, Erik was a scholar, a football player, a lacrosse player, and a trumpet player in the band. While in the band, Erik achieved the ranks of First Chair, Section Leader, and Co-Concert Master. A gentle giant with a kind soul and unique sense of humor, he also earned the rank of Eagle Scout and poured himself into all of the activities in which he participated.
After graduation from Gonzaga, Erik attended one year of prep school at Andover before attending the United States Naval Academy. Erik earned his varsity letter in heavyweight crew at Navy before graduating with an English major and French minor in 1995.
After several years of service, Erik knew he wanted to be a Navy SEAL but was told that he was too old and would not be able to make it. Instead of listening to those who told him he could not, he chose instead to work to achieve his future. After failing once to make the SEALs, he tried again. Overcoming injury and obstacles, Erik finally realized his dream and became a SEAL and joined SEAL Team 10 based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Norfolk, VA. On 28 June 2005 in Afghanistan, Erik volunteered to lead a mission to help four fellow friends and SEALs who had come under heavy fire. The helicopter that he, seven other SEAL members, and eight Army Special Forces members were in was shot down. Erik was buried with full honors at the Naval Academy and rests among our nation’s heroes as one of them.
True to his love of learning, Erik had been awarded an Olmsted Foundation Scholarship and was to have studied at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris in 2006. In his honor, Erik’s family, classmates, friends, and those who were inspired by him founded The LCDR Erik S. Kristensen ’90, USN, Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund seeks to assist a Gonzaga student whose family serves in the United States Armed Forces, and it will forever remind his fellow Eagles of what it means to be a Man for Others.