A hero from CrossFit Boston -- RIP Christian Charles Major
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
-- George Orwell (alternately attributed to Winston Churchill)
Those of us in civilian life owe a debt of gratitude to our brethren in the military who've made many sacrifices this past decade. In addition to being rough men ready to do violence, a surprising number are also kind men ready to do good. Christian embodied both capabilities.
A former soldier, who was working as a private security contractor in Afghanistan, Christian passed away two weeks ago (from non combat related causes). Babatim over on the blog FreeRangeInternational.com describes working with Christian:
I instantly became a big fan of his when I saw him interacting with the local beggar kids on our first morning together. He had exceptional language skills, he was a very big and very fit guy, had an infectious smile, great sense of humor and like all the good guys in my line of work a tender heart. As many of us do he sponsored children from the slums paying them to go to school. Unlike many of us he followed up on his investment ensuring unscrupulous family members did not take the money from his charges and force them to beg in other parts of the city. Christian Major was a good man
I met Christian only once, a year-and-a-half ago during the week between X-mas and New Year's, when he was on leave in town. Although he was doing another workout, he came over (without my asking) to spot a 135# bar while I was doing floor wipes.
This is of a piece with the things those who knew him better have written. He didn't have to break his workout and I could have struggled through the sets myself. But, it was the gesture of a good guy.
Neal Thompson of CrossFit Boston put together a Hero WOD to honor the memory of Christian.
NB--Originally this post made the mistake of identifying Christian as a "former SEAL". While he did attend BUD/S, he did not finish the course. Thanks to the friend of Christian's, who was in the Army and at BUD/S with him, for pointing this out. Please note that Christian never claimed to be a SEAL; that was my mistake alone.
Nonetheless, as his friend noted "Christian had several friends that were SEAL's and they have told me that they thought of him as a special operator, as do I. The guy was amazing. He has done more things in a combat theater than most special operations guys I know personally, but he wasn't qualified [as a SEAL]."