Hometown Hero brings military lessons to civilian life

By Amanda Porterfield | aporterfield@wcia.com

Published 10/14 2013 02:40PM

Updated 12/12 2014 11:12AM

CHAMPAIGN -- This Hometown Hero wound up serving in the military and becoming a firefighter afterwards. Both are examples for him of giving back to his country and community. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield introduces us to this area firefighter who says he never forgot how he got here.

"We used to say we are the largest fraternity in the world, and it's true."

Chris Hanson was searching for that camaraderie when he got out of the Marines. He found it at the Champaign Fire Department. He's an engineer at Fire Station 5.

"It's one of the best jobs in the world. How many people get paid to help other people out?"

Fighting on the front lines laid the groundwork for Hanson to be Firefighter of the Year. He was a gunner in Desert Storm and says, being a Marine for ten years, taught him a lot.

"I believe in all the values military instills in you. I believe it's a great organization and teaches you a lot of stuff. It's given me skills that I will use the rest of my life; dedication, integrity, honesty, initiative. Those are all things the Marine Corps taught me are important, and those are things you need to be a firefighter too."

But, Hanson still balances both roles. He's part of the Fire Department Honor Guard and member of the local Marine Corps League, honoring his brothers on both sides.

"Rather than giving back to my country, I'm giving back to my local community."

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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