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 […]
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
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 [...]
On November 8, 2019 Sgt. Michael Shuster U.S. Army was the recipient of a Ford Escape via the recycled rides program. The Shuster family applied for the program in July. In partnership, Schaeffer Autobody Centers, Travelers Insurance, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car provided the Shuster family with a more reliable vehicle. The Recycled Rides program works to donate […]
Good Morning – I wanted to take a few moments and send out a heartfelt THANK-YOU to all our volunteers, participants and donors that made the First Annual JCS-Houston Clay Shoot a resounding success. The time spent up front by our board members, our volunteer coordinators, our sponsors and by all those that have held [...]
On October 27th, JCS supporter Tim Mooney completed the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. This was a grueling 26.2 mile run in the pouring rain. Tim completed the race with 30,000 other participants and represented JCS throughout the day. Tim also challenged his friends to support him on this run by raising money to [...]
Jay Vermillion ended up with some large holes in his ceiling and walls after getting some electrical work done. JCS reached out to our generous supporter Clayco, and within a week Clayco and Wies Drywall were at the Vermillion home donating their time and treasure to make the necessary repairs. The Vermillion family was so [...]
On October 31st, 2019, Great Nonprofits will announce JCS as a 2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit. This is only possible through our JCS community. The stories and experiences that our followers shared with Great Nonprofits gives us the opportunity to make this list. JCS is extremely grateful for the people that make our mission possible and believe […]
Corporal Tyler Huffman Promoted!
Read about the 2019 11th Shoot for the Troops.