MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) – It continues to feel as if most of the Mid-South is rallying around Lance Corporal Christian Brown, the Munford Marine who was critically injured in Afghanistan.
As of Monday December 19, 2011, Brown was still recovering in a hospital in Germany, but his family was optimistic he would be able to get on a plane bound for the United States very soon.
When he finally does make it back home, there are a lot of people waiting to wish him well.
It seems that includes virtually everybody in Tipton County, but it goes beyond that- to a group called the Patriot Guard.
The Guard was initially created to counter protesters at the funerals of fallen military; now that mission has been modified.
“Now we escort troops that are deploying,” said Patriot Guard rider Dave Marek, “also troops coming back.”
And when it comes to Lance Corporal Christian Brown of Munford, the Patriot Guard will do much more.
“We’ll be there when the day is that he comes back,” said Marek, “we’ll escort him. He is a brother.”
In fact, feelings for ‘C-B’, as Brown is called, are especially strong. The assistant captain of West Tennessee’s Patriot Guard is based in Munford.
“It hit really close,” Gill Riberdy told abc24.com, “this is the first one- the first individual from Munford that has really been severely injured.”
Riberdy said all of Tipton County is praying for Brown, and it feels like a cloud is being lifted from their moods.
“It’s more upbeat now,” said Riberdy, “and I think people are actually thinking he’s going to be coming home- soon.”
When that day comes the Patriot Guard members indicated it would be glorious.
“I can make a promise the streets will be lined with flags.” Riberdy told abc24.com
“We’ll be there to hug him and tell him we’re proud of what he did and his sacrifice,” said Marek, “and always be there for him in any kind of way.”
“We will make sure that this young man, Mr. Brown- Lance Corporal Brown- knows that he is a hero and is welcome back here in Munford,” Riberdy emphasized.
Multiple funds have been set up to collect money to aid in Christian Brown’s rehabilitation.
That includes funds at I-Bank branches, First Citizens National in Munford and various other locations.
‘C-B’ will need every penny for a rehab stint expected to be measured in years- not months.