News: VEMA honors Silver Star recipient
Story by Pfc. Joey Mendez
NEW BERN, N.C. - The Veteran Enforcers Motorcycle Association of New Bern, N.C. hosted the Cost of Freedom Poker Run in support of Silver Star Medal recipient Cpl. Christian Brown and the Semper Fi Fund August 24, 2013.
Brown, who lost both of his legs while serving as a squad leader with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom, was awarded the Silver Star Medal May 3, 2013.
“When you get things like this and see people come together it means a lot,” said Brown a native of Munford, Tenn.
The poker run consisted of motorcycle riders traveling to five checkpoints. At each location the riders received a playing card, and whoever had the highest poker hand at the end of the route won.
The money raised during the poker run was split three ways by the rider with the best hand, Brown and the Semper Fi Fund.
“The purpose of this event is to support Christian Brown and to help him achieve his goals, his life aspirations, his new home and to get it the way he wants it and the way he needs it,” said Sgt. Maj. Larry J. Harrington the sergeant major of Marine Transport Squadron 1 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., who was the 1st Bn., 6th Marines sergeant major when Brown served with the unit.
“This is a personal event for me because this young man was one of my Marines when we went and fought the fight against the Taliban,” said Harrington a native of Gastonia, N.C. “We didn’t just fight the fight, we took the fight to them.”
Brown shared a story with his supporters about a time he was on a patrol in Afghanistan. He said how they were on a mountain cliff providing over watch for other Marine units moving through the area.
Brown explains when they were on the mountain he tells another Marine, “I wonder if anybody knows that we are sitting up here. I wonder if anyone cares,” said Brown.
“So when I see people like you out here today who are showing respect and being a part of this it answers that question, people do know, people knew I was up there and people knew and cared and are grateful.”
John R. Bell IV, from the North Carolina House of Representatives, presented Brown with a certificate of acknowledgement and congratulations from the state House of Representatives as well as a North Carolina state flag, which was flown over the state capitol building with the citation signed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.
The VEMA of New Bern wanted to put on an event in honor of him and to help support him in setting up a camp that he has for veterans that are disabled so they can go hunting and fishing and do things that now they are not able to normally do, said Harrington.
“This is my brother and I am proud to say this is my brother.”