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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Atkinson Marine assists Thai flood victims

From the Eagle Tribune;

December 8, 2011
Atkinson Marine assists Thai flood victims
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — Christopher Brown is only 20, but what he's seen is more than anyone would want to witness in an entire lifetime.

The Atkinson resident and 2009 Timberlane Regional High School graduate is serving overseas with the Marines. Last week, the lance corporal returned to his base in Okinawa, Japan, from Thailand, where he helped with flood-relief efforts for two weeks.

His mission was to clean up mud and debris in the flood-ravaged country.

"Myself and fellow Marines got to go assist the royal Thai army and clean temples, a school and a medical center," Brown said in an email.

Thailand experienced the worst flooding in more than 50 years from late July through November. More than 600 people died and floodwaters swamped entire towns. More than two-thirds of the country's provinces were affected.

Brown said he saw devastation wherever his unit, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element, traveled.

"I saw flooded airports, people taking shelter on the highways and living in tents on higher ground," he said. "(I saw) houses half-submerged in practically sewage water, eroded roads, and mothers wading through water carrying their children. People were riding their scooters and driving their cars through water almost 2 feet deep."

In Bangkok, the Marines helped clear out sandbags that had been stacked throughout the city in anticipation of the floodwaters that never reached them.

Brown, who joined the Marines only a few months after graduating from Timberlane, worked with the Thai army to hand out supplies. Members of the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force worked alongside the Thai people, including monks, to clean flood-ravaged buildings.

"It was the most rewarding experience of my life and fulfilled my goal when I joined to help people," Brown said. "It was a great feeling when the locals shook your hand and hugged you, saying, 'Thank you so much, we're so glad you're here.'"

His mother, Patricia Brown, said she's very proud of her son.

"He's only 20 years old, but he's seen more of the world than I probably ever will see," she said. "I know he'd say he's just doing his job, but he's done great work."

She said his absence has been hard for the family, communicating only by Skype during odd hours because of the time difference.

"This will be our third holidays with him not here," she said.

Brown will come home in July, but he could be called up again, according to his father, Jim Brown.

"He's probably going to Afghanistan toward the end of the summer," he said. "I'm worried about him, but I'm proud of what he's been doing."

Christopher Brown, now back at his base in Japan, said he felt like he really made a difference in Thailand. He said the Thai military thanked his unit when they left and the two groups made strong connections.

"We proved to our allies that we have their back if they need our help and it really strengthened relations with both countries," he said. "It proved that the Marines are not just fighters; we help people too."


Carol Grant said...

Bravo, Christopher !!

I spoke to Christopher's mother today. She provided info and will be dropping off a picture of Christopher for the Town Hall Foyer's 'ATKINSON'S OWN''display.

Atkinson has so much to be proud of in so many of our young people choosing to serve their country in uniform.

With the last Army troops now leaving Iraq (my son Paul returns stateside Saturday after his 3rd tour in Iraq, and a tour in Afghanistan), we all wish the safe return of our troops still in harm's way in Afghanistan.

Many of ''Atkinson's Own'' are serving on board ships and serving elsewhere in the world, like Christopher.

Quite a few parents of 'Atkinson's Own'' have contacted me to volunteer to serve on the next Honor Roll Committee when we will be honoring the most recent group of Atkinson's Own. I've told them that as soon as the last of the U.S. military are out of Afghanistan, and we have the final name listing of those who served, that we will then start working on the next Honor Roll which will include the names of those who served in the first Gulf War (Desert Storm),the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those many others who were assigned to serve state-side or elsewhere in the world.

In Atkinson, our young people stand proud and patriotic. We honor them.

Carol Grant said...

A related comment:

With the help of fellow Atkinson Historical Society member Barbara Colcord, yesterday, after a 7 year search for one of Atkinson's Vietnam-era vets, we finally found John H. Hamilton, the son of Atkinson's former moderator Kingdon Hamilton.

Several of his contempories on the Vietnam Honor Roll gave his name to the Honor Roll Committee in 2004, but because John had left Atkinson right after the Vietnam War ended, with his father, mother and brother deceased, no one knew where John was.

In order for someone to get their name on a state or town honor roll, a DD-214 from the veteran or his family is required. A DD-214 is a military discharge document that verifies a veteran's dates of service and the address where he enlisted or was drafted from. John's DD-214 would have verified that he was an Atkinson resident when he went into the service, and thus, belonged on Atkinson's Honor Roll.

John, who's been constantly on the road in his RV touring America is currently in Alburquerque, New Mexico, headed next to Las Vegas.

I spoke to him last night and he will be e-mailing me a copy of his DD-214 and a then-picture of him in uniform.

The Historical Society's Honor Roll Committee will then review the DD-214, and formally vote to add his name to one of the Honor Roll panels in front of the Town Hall.

Because the Vietnam War-era formally ended almost 40 years ago, with many of those veterans no longer living in Atkinson, it hasn't been easy to track them all down. There are still 4 of them that we're trying to locate to verify their service.

My point with this blog is that whenever any are found, they will, better late than never, still be accorded the honor and recognition that they earned and deserve.

Atkinson honors their military own.

Anonymous said...

Thanks wonderful Carol. Thanks for all you do.

The Brown family must be so proud of Chris, as are we.

Anonymous said...

gobble gobble gobble

Anonymous said...

are we going to have a policemen,s honor roll. ???????

Anonymous said...

Might, if their chief ever does anything honorable. No chance a patrolman would ever get it. Chief would never allow anyone to get ahead of him.

No chance the chief would get it, he doesn't know how to be honorable.


Anonymous said...

No sense putting up a police honor roll with no names.

Anonymous said...

Disagree! Put one up at taxpayer expense with seven blank names with different spellings for CON(man)sentino. Put forth a warrant article to allow the the Lions Club to fill in the blanks.

Consentino will be able to pick the spellings and make himself the man. With another 100K in the town legal budget line, what taxpayer will hire an attorney to complain? That taxpayer would be better off paying for Whitey Bulget to get out of jail, and bring him in to clean up the corruption.

What a joke the taxpayers of Atkinson are. They are asleep, dumb, and jnot worthy to be called citizens. Consentino will make sure you get what they deserve.


Merry Christmas Atkinson Taxpayers and a very happy moneyless new year. You enjoy being raped and no one can help you. You are all sex addicts and all have STDs.

Anonymous said...

Consentino can't spell.