JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON TX –
Sailors at the Navy
Medicine Training Support Center wrapped up their fourth annual holiday
toy drive at the Medical Education and Training Campus on Joint Base San
Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Dec. 4. This year’s drive was held in honor of a
fellow hospital corpsman killed in combat in 2006.
Petty Officer 3rd Class
Christopher Anderson was deployed with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines in
Ramadi, Iraq, when he passed away Dec. 4, 2006. Several hospital corpsmen at
NMTSC knew Anderson and a few were on deployment with him at the time.
“The goal of this toy drive is to gather toys to deliver to
the Marine Corps ‘Toys for Tots,’ and it’s in honor of our fallen brother, who
some of us here deployed with,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tristan McCauley,
an instructor for the Basic Medical Technician/Corpsmen Program. “He loved
kids. He loved giving toys to kids. His family in Colorado started the toy drive for him and we
decided to do the same here.”
BMTCP is taught in METC’s Anderson Hall, named in honor of
the fallen corpsman, who McCauley said he deployed with in Iraq.
McCauley volunteered to lead the coordination efforts for
the drive this year to honor Anderson
and his family.
Anderson’s parents, Rick and Debbie, have held the toy drive
every year in his hometown of Longmont, Colo., for the past seven years. They
donate everything to the Longmont Police Department in his name and the toys
are distributed to families in need.
“If he were alive right now and he could see what we are
doing in San Antonio, he’d be ecstatic because this is what it’s all about –
giving back,” McCauley said.
Anderson spent a lot of time in Iraq giving back as much as
he could to the children in the area, receiving donations in packages from his
family with toys and school supplies, said Chief Petty Officer Albert Ramirez,
a METC instructor who was a mentor to Anderson in Iraq.
“He’d definitely be happy with this,” Ramirez said. “I’m
pretty sure if he were still around, he’d try to put something like this
together on his own to do something for the Toys for Tots campaign.”
McCauley said he believes the toy drive has a long and
“This is a toy drive that will continue as long as this
building is standing,” McCauley said. “There are plenty of 1st battalion, 6th
Marines corpsmen who will walk in and out of this building. We’ll make sure
that his legacy carries on, and this toy drive is part of his legacy.”