Joshua Chamberlain Society, its volunteers, and especially the JCS Houston heroes want to extend a heartfelt thanks to Big Star Ford in Pearland, TX for all the vehicle improvements extended to the Escobedo family. Both, Rick Law, the general manager, and Jeff Kuithe, service manager, went beyond the call of duty in […]
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 for manyyears, but Harley passed in 2022.
Chris 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.
Keep up with Chris
Not many 13 year olds can say they have spoken at the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. In 2003, after the war in Iraq and Afghanistan began, Congress passed a law stating that nothing else could go in the National Mall. This site is home to iconic monuments including the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. […]
Schaefer Autobody recently donated 4 vehicles to our JCS Heroes. This is the third year that Schaefer Autobody has worked with Travelers Insurance to provide much needed vehicles to our JCS Heroes. Please click on the link to learn more: Schaefer Autobody
Taylor graduated from The University of Missouri with her Education Degree and is pursuing her Masters Degree from Lindenwood University. Taylor teaches the Fifth Grade at New Haven Elementary School. She currently lives in Washington, Mo where she remodeled her entire home. JCS was able to establish connections to contractors to help Taylor make the […]
The JCS family just keeps growing! Please welcome Elijah Nicely. Dad, CPL. Todd Nicely, and mom, Michele, are all doing well and settling into this new crazy life! Congratulations! Elijah Nicholas – October 20, 2020 – 7 pounds 10 ounces – 20 inches long
Congratulations to Hero CPL. Tyler Huffman and his bride Amanda on their wedding! We are so excited for the both of you.
Congratulations to the Vermillion Family on your new ride! Thank you to the largest contributors like NABC Recycled Rides, Travelers Insurance, Schaefer Autobody, and Scott Schaefer, Alex Alyatim, Colleen Lawler, Jack Lawler, Matt Koke, Gail Schroeder, Danielle Horton, Tommy Tedesco, Cottrell Fox, James Forshey. See the video of our day here: https://www.facebook.com/JCSociety/videos/432819764747131.
Read Don’s final blog post here: “My adventure has come to a close. I am home and just want to wrap up a few thoughts. Many of you know about my trials and attempts at crossing the US. Those times while disappointing to me taught me a lot about things. I love to ride my […]
JCS is working to evaluate further precautions we will take to ensure the safety of our guests, Heroes, and staff for upcoming events. For the Price of Freedom Gala, foremost, safety precautions will include providing face masks to all guests and hand sanitizer will be readily available. As we are sure has been common in other areas of […]
What a rare and humbling opportunity. Two Medal of Honor recipients spoke at the Nashville Gala on November 2nd. Medal of Honor Recipients, James C. McCloughan, Specialist 5 United States Army and David Bellavia, Staff Sergeant United States Army. They were absolutely amazing, and you could have heard a pin drop while they were speaking. David [...]