[The Brazil Times nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 58°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 45°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Local Marine heading to Iraq

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Marine Christopher Harden takes a moment to call a friend after graduating from basic training in San Diego in April 2007. Harden is currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and will ship out for a tour of duty in Iraq this March. Courtesy Photo/Wayne Harden.
Christopher Harden is a man of his own.

The 2005 graduate of Northview High School, and Staunton resident, is a member of the Marine Infantry and will be leaving sometime in March for a tour of duty in Iraq.

"I think we need to be there, but I hate to see all these young kids go over there," his father, Wayne Harden, said. "They attacked us and it is more of a need to protect ourselves."

Wayne, who used to be a member of the Army Reserves, tried to talk his son into entering a different sector of the military, but Christopher decided to go with his own instincts.

"I wanted him to go to college after high school, but he didn't want to," Wayne said. "Then when he said he was joining the military, I tried to get him to join the Air Force or some other area because I thought it would help better his education, but it was his choice to make."

The choice, in itself, to join the military came as a shock to his father.

"He just called me one day and said he had signed up," Wayne said. "He had been working a number of part-time jobs, including for the lawn service I own and the Humane Shelter, and never really figured out what he wanted to do until then. It came out of nowhere."

Shortly after signing up on Jan. 21, 2007, Christopher was shipped out to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for basic training. From there, he was sent to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he continued training to drive Amphibious Assault Vehicles.

Amphibious Assault Vehicles are the current means of troop transport for the Marines.

"He will be driving vehicles during his tour of duty in Iraq, but to what extent, we are unsure of," Wayne said.

To prepare for his upcoming tour of duty, Christopher went to desert training at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

"He completed this training just before the holidays and was able to come home for a few days before returning to Camp Lejeune," Wayne said. "We believe we can keep in contact with him through his laptop when he is over there, but nothing is certain at this point."

Wayne said Christopher has second-guessed his decision at times, but is ultimately happy and proud with his choices.

"He has said he wished he would have listened to me at times, but likes what he is doing," Wayne said. "When he signed up he said he found the military interesting and there was not a lot to do around here."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Chris graduate with me in 2006

-- Posted by Kaylyns on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 12:03 AM

This isn't really the place to vent about the people of Brazil This is a man who is about to see his son off to war. Obviously there are some good people in this town, his son being one of them. I understand your frustration and anger towards the war, I have never felt that we should be there either, but I whole heartedly support our troops that are there.

By the way I find it a little ironic that you know how to spell meth and high school sports but when you read all those articles you didn't notice that the speeling of Osoma is OSAMA.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 6:45 AM


-- Posted by Mommahull on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 6:47 AM

Petmonster--How dare you call Mr. Harden dumb, and generalize the people of Brazil as meth heads? Mr. Harden made a statement he believes in, which is his right as an American citizen, and a proud father. It makes absolutely no difference how any of us feel about the war, we should always support our military, no matter the circumstances.

With regards to your statement about the paper covering only high school sports and church. I find it quite nice that church is still covered in our newspaper. Unfortunately, that is not the case in other cities in America, and that is very sad in my humble opinion.


-- Posted by timetomoveon on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 7:18 AM

I think you all should stop complaining of the spelling of names and what is covered in the paper.

This man needs to know he has our prayer to be kept safe while he is over there defening your rights to grip about what this paper does print.

I have never meet him but I can say I am proud of him for what he is doing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by sweetpeas on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 11:34 AM

I think that is exactly what I was saying. That I am proud of this young man and all the young men and women that are serving out country.

I might have been a being facetious when I made the smart comment about spelling Osama (for this I am sorry) I was not really complaining, I was just angered that someone could make a blanket statement about the people of Brazil and this young man being dumb. But I still don't think this article was the place to criticize the people of Brazil or this young man for defending his country. I myself have a nephew that has been to Iraq three times and my husbands nephew once.

I did make fun of myself when I intentionally spelled spelling incorrect, but I guess that didn't take the sting out.

Mr. Harden, you, your son and you entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 12:01 PM

Look's like the Petmonster post has been removed!

-- Posted by timetomoveon on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 1:16 PM

Yeah, Chris Harden graduated in 2006 with me as well. He is a good man who is doing our country a great service. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, as well as the others unmentioned that are serving our country; many of which are Clay County graduates.

-- Posted by Boilergirl on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 9:40 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: