U.S. Marine, Corporal Chris Stephenson was motivated to serve his country ever since he was a child growing up watching Westerns and old military shows with his dad. While in high school, September 11th happened and that was all the extra motivation Stephenson needed to enlist into the few, the proud, the Marines. While deployed in Iraq in 2005, Stephenson and his convoy were hit by an IED. He was thrown out of the vehicle and suffered severe injuries to his legs, arms, back and lungs while the others in his vehicle were killed by the impact. 2012 [FHH] Hero, Chris Wiers’ vehicle was also a part of that convoy that was hit. Wiers enjoyed his experience so much, that he recruited Stephenson to also participate.
- The jagged lines represent the splitting of Chris’s vehicle and the separation on the longitudinal lines.
- The dots represent the areas of his path to becoming a hero that are gray, areas in his experience that he cannot recollect.
- The triangles represent how he was launched into the air and landing upside down with the Humvee on top of him.
- The swirl represents the tornado of a ride that he was placed into, how he remembers a cyclone of dust in the Mid East and then from there can only remember waking up to his parents in Kansas.
- The daisies represent the daisy chain of IEDs that his vehicle hit.
- The Eagle represents the logo of the U.S. Marines.
This all brings the story together of “No Place Like Home.” Even for a courageous hero like Chris Stephenson, a home base is always needed.
“If you want to walk the planet you have to be the baddest SOB at it.” -Chris Stephenson.
- Embossed on the heel is the Marines motto, “Semper Fidelis,” translated as,“Always Loyal.”
- On the shaft of the boot is the U.S. Marines Eagle Globe & Anchor, which is tattooed on his back.
- “CLB 2, Security Co., 4th Platoon,” on the tongue of the boot was Stephenson’s unit that provided convoy security in the Anbar Province of Iraq in the northwest territory.
- The dog tags with the chain wrapped around the .556 round symbolizes how every Marines’ rifle is his life.
- ”USMC” stamped on the heel collar is symbolic of being property of the U.S. Marine Corps.
- Metallic silver represents the idea of steel plating and a sense of being bulletproof. It is also symbolic of his childhood watching Star Trek with his dad, which ultimately became a huge inspiration for him to join the Marines.
Samuel Ging is a freelance web designer, photographer and videographer. He currently works with local startups in the Grand Rapids area, pushing their multimedia viral. Laura Wilusz is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator who works with various startups and philanthropic organizations in West Michigan to digitize and display their missions and ideas into visual format.