Cpl. Chris Van EttenUS Marine Corps

    St. Louis

    Christopher Van Etten, of O’Fallon, Illinois is the son of Wayne and Leigh Van Etten, both retired Air Force veterans. After graduating from O’Fallon Township High School in 2009, Chris enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 13, 2009.

    He was a rifleman, assigned to Charley Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines from 29 Palms California during that battalions deployment to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. LCPL Van Etten’s duties included working with his bomb sniffing dog, “Harley.” While deployed to Afghanistan, his battalion was assigned one of the most dangerous and deadly areas for US forces, the Sangin District of Helmand Province. On June 13, 2012 Lance Cpl. Van Etten was on a night combat patrol on a hill overlooking an Afghani village when a massive improvised explosive device (“IED”) detonated. As Chris and other Marines in the squad responded to that explosion and tried to assist a wounded colleague, a second IED went off. This second IED killed Chris’s best friend, CPL T.J. Baune of Minnesota, as well as blew off both of Chris’s legs.

    The rehabilitation and recovery since that fateful day has been extremely challenging but Chris has met it with the same intensity and determination he displayed in the Marines. He received his prosthetic legs on August 13, 2012 and was medically retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of Corporal, the next year, 2013. Chris was thrilled when, through the efforts of many of his Marine Corps friends and colleagues, his bomb dog, Harley was retired from the Corps at the same time, becoming Chris’s service dog. The pair remain inseparable.

    The 24 year old has stayed extremely active since he retired from active duty. He is quite a fitness buff and has modeled extensively. In October, 2013 he hand-cycled the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C.. In addition to modeling, Chris is hopeful to get into acting and motivational speaking.

    The Joshua Chamberlain Society could not be happier to introduce our 7th JCS Hero, United States Marine Corps Cpl. Chris Van Etten.

    Keep up with Chris

    The event benefited the Joshua Chamberlain Society’s (JCS) Nashville Chapter, which provides life-long support to veterans who sustain permanent combat injuries fighting for our nation’s freedom. Homeland security and law enforcement specialist Lt. Col. Herman Statum was the keynote speaker who will address the current terrorist threat to the United States. JCS Heroes were also [...]

    Read more

    WSMV Channel 4 NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – What happens to veterans severely injured in combat after the parades and welcome home parties end? The idea that they are forgotten is exactly what one Nashville couple is working hard to prevent. Marine Jeremy Voels has been in a hospital bed in Nashville since 2010. He was 20 […]

    Read more

    John Ford Coley, Roxie Dean and Byron Hill to Headline Songwriter’s Night Supporting Middle Tennessee’s Combat Injured Heroes NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (May 17, 2016) – Celebrated Songwriters John Ford Coley, Roxie Dean and Byron Hill will perform at the Joshua Chamberlain Society’s Songwriter’s Night on June 11, 2016, at Green Door Gourmet’s Grand Barn in Nashville. The [...]

    Read more

    This is an original song written and produced by the "Stray Dawgs Of Nashville" inspired by the patriotism. It chronicles the memories of a young boy, Joshua, who remembers his father, mother and brother telling him that his brother had signed up to fight WWII and then transitions into the events of 911 and the [...]

    Read more

    The event included performances by: THE MCCRARY SISTERS SCOTT MACINTYRE - American Idol finalist, inspirational speaker, Author KEVIN MCKENDREE and his son YATES - Keyboardists Extraordinaire, Producer and Delbert McClinton's Band Leader JACOB'S LADDER - Popular Local Rock Band HILLBILLY RENEGADES – Traditional/Contemporary Country Music TONI STAPLES - Nashville Recording Artist and Singer/Songwriter STRAY DAWGS [...]

    Read more

    Press Release The Joshua Chamberlain Society (JCS) aids severely wounded military service members and the families of killed-in-action members of our military who sacrificed all in our service. The mission of JCS is unique. JCS adopts severely wounded military veterans for life. Just as these soldiers have sustained their injuries for life so will JCS [...]

    Read more

    The inaugural event of the Nashville chapter of the St. Louis-based Joshua Chamberlain Society went off beautifully Oct. 4 at the Richland Country Club. Cpl. Justin McLoud The inaugural event of the Nashville chapter of the St. Louis-based Joshua Chamberlain Society went off beautifully Oct. 4 at the Richland Country Club. The inaugural event of [...]

    Read more