Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Christopher A Anderson

Longmont, Colorado

December 4, 2006

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
24 Navy HM3

1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

 Killed by enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

Statement from Father of Christopher A. Anderson

Ladies and Gentlemen of the News Media,

I am honored that you have asked me, the father of Navy Seaman Christopher Anderson, to reflect on the qualities of this outstanding young man and true American patriot.

Christopher was a son of which any parent would be proud. He was a natural leader in the truest sense…warm, giving, thoughtful and caring. He went well out of his way to assist family, friends and neighbors with everything from the sweat of his brow to sound advice that many commented held wisdom beyond his years. He was consistently elevated to leadership positions by his actions.

This same thought process was at work when he chose to join the US Navy. Chris comes from generations of Navy men and women. I myself am retired Navy. The Navy is, in general, an exciting career, however Christopher was not content to settle for anything less than being at the tip of the spear. He chose the career path of Hospital Corpsman (the Navy equivalent to a Medic in the other services). He requested the additional training of a Combat Medic, and to be assigned to the front lines with the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps does not have their own medical personnel, and Navy Sailors fill that role on a voluntary basis.

He was an "encourager", and "uplifter" with a truly unique ability to empower others to rise to success they themselves did not think possible. He attracted many, many close friends into his circle. These are fine young men and women, who I was proud to be introduced to and invite into my home.

In August of 2005, Christopher joined the Navy. While in Longmont awaiting his formal Navy school start date, he aggressively pursued high visibility leadership positions within his group of peers attached to the Longmont Navy Recruiting Office. Chris was already a good athlete, but chose to compete with the Navy SEAL candidates for even greater athletic excellence. He additionally excelled in his Navy-oriented academics, and was ultimately promoted from E-1 to E-3 before ever leaving for the Recruit Training Center ("Boot Camp").

Once at Boot Camp he again excelled in academics, athletics and leadership, completing the program as the "Honor Graduate"…the number one person in his class, as voted on by both his peers and the senior staff. He then attended his actual Hospital Corpsman medical training, "A" School, followed by Advanced Combat Medical Training, "C" School. Working with experienced combat veterans, he reaffirmed his desire to provide a critical service to those in harms way. He knew full well that he too would be at the forefront of the action.

Christopher deployed to Iraq in September of this year. The moment his aircraft's door opened to the 120 degree heat, he knew this would be the start of his greatest challenge. He loved the people of this country, however he began to see immediate action, and was soon credited by senior medical staff for saving the life of a Marine sergeant seriously wounded on patrol by an improvised explosive device (IED).

Christopher earned the affectionate title of "Doc". This title is only given to Navy Hospital Corpsmen who have impressed their US Marine Corps counterparts with medical excellence under field combat conditions. His colonel also credited him with the compliment, "The most squared away 'Marine' we have in this Unit".

Christopher gave his life in the defense of his nation, his local community, his Marine brethren and his family. Christopher wanted all his life to make a difference in this world and in his short 24 years accomplished more than most will ever accomplish in a lifetime.

-- Rick Anderson, father of Christopher Anderson.

Arlington National Cemetery

From Rocky Mountain News 12/07/06

Corpsman from Colorado is killed in action in Iraq

Christopher A. Anderson was "serving his community, serving his country."

By Tillie Fong, Rocky Mountain News
December 7, 2006
A Colorado sailor was killed in Iraq on Monday. Christopher A. Anderson, 24, of Longmont died during military action in Anbar province.

He was a Navy corpsman who was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Calls to the family and to the Navy were not returned Wednesday.

However, Rick Anderson, Christopher's father and a career Navy SEAL, told CBS 4 News that his son was "serving his community, serving his country and serving his family" at the time of his death, and that his son had been approved to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Christopher Anderson joined the Navy on Aug. 9, 2005, and had reported to his unit in May of this year, according to his father.

Brian Van Ness, 49, a next-door neighbor, recalled that Anderson would mow the lawn for neighbors and help out with other chores.

"He always was getting involved with helping neighbors out," Van Ness said.

Van Ness said Christopher had wanted to join the Navy right after the tragedy of Sept. 11.

"He was real excited to join the military but didn't get in right then," he said.

Christopher worked in construction before he finally enlisted last year. Van Ness said the neighborhood threw a going-away party for Christopher when he was about to leave for boot camp last year.

"The way he described it - he was going to be the head of a medical group and he was pretty proud of himself for landing that," he said.

Van Ness said he didn't have any contact with Christopher after the party, but he said Christopher knew full well the dangers of military service.

"He was a real bright kid - he knew what he was getting into," he said. "He wouldn't jump into anything."

Rick Anderson told CBS4 that Christopher was the type of person who wanted to be in middle of the action and not stay back.

A graduate of Longmont High School in 2000, Christopher Anderson was a member of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes, according to John Poynton, spokesman for the St. Vrain Valley School District.

"The students and staff of Longmont High School and the entire district send our heartfelt condolences to the Anderson family," Poynton said. "He died serving his nation and we're proud of him."

From Gino Jeffers 08/21/12:

To whom it may concern,

My name is Gino Jeffers, a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman. I highly respect HM3 Anderson. He’s a “greenside” corpsman that many corpsmen assigned to a Marine unit aspire to be. I don’t know if anyone on the website knows, but the current medical training facility for HM “A” school is called “Anderson Hall” in his honor. On the school’s wall of heroes, HM3 Anderson is centermost between all the pictures of our fallen brothers and sisters in the HM (FMF) rating. On the outside of the building is a placard that serves to educate would-be corpsman of why the hall is named so appropriately and reminds us of HM3 Anderson’s heroic sacrifice for God, Country, and his Marines.

I don’t know. I guess you could say it is my pride as a Navy corpsman that I would want that information placed on the website for everyone to read. Not that it has to be, but it would be a nice touch that would help bolster his legacy and remind us of why we do what we do.

With kind regards,
Gino Jeffers, USN

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