DIALED IN: Former sniper and his wife share thoughts on Veterans Day, earning a Purple Heart

PASCO, WA - Veterans Day is a day to honor the men and women who are and have put their lives on the line for our freedoms. A true Tri-Cities family lives in Pasco: Christopher and Kelsey Linck.

"For me, I call the guys up that I served with. Check in on them and see how they're doing," said Christopher Linck, when asked his thoughts on Veterans Day. "We tell some stories. And Veterans Day always falls after the Marine Corps birthday. For me... We kind of get together and then segue into Veterans Day." 

"We kind of go about our days and don't even really think about him being a veteran most days," said his wife, Kelsey, when asked the same question. "It's not something that we talk about a lot. But it's a day that we get to sit back and say thank you to him and his friends."

Christopher Linck served in the United States Marine Corps from 2000 to 2004.

"The bonds that I made in the unit I was with, I mean they're still my brothers," said Christopher. "When we all get together, there's that intense bond. It's strong enough that you're willing to go and lay down your life to protect these people. So yeah, the Marine Corps ...It's a family."

He served as a sniper doing tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. When asked what his thoughts were when he pulled the trigger, he had a poignant answer: "Am I doing the right thing? That's one of the decisions that you have to live with ultimately at the end of the day. For me - in my job, what we did. We had the luxury of knowing for sure."

He explained a sniper's shots are precise. An explosive, on the other hand, can cause collateral damage - and collateral damage in war, is something Linck knows about all too well. He earned a Purple Heart with an injury that cut his time in the Marines short.

"Yeah we went out on a route with a unit we were attached to. We went out and we could hear them digging in," said Linck. "We were kind of limited with our routes. We got held up at a spot a little bit too long but there was a large weapons cache that we had to deal with. They waited until a few tracks had crossed. They opened up with a bunch of RPG fire."

"It was a textbook ambush, he went on. "That was one of those big things, you have to respect your enemy and their capabilities  to defend their ideas. They were taking enemy sniper fire so they punched us out to do a counter-sniper mission but we didn't have time to take a building. So we had to do it from the top of an amtrak up next to a wall so we had a little bit of concealment."

"Just caught a round through the wall... I got lucky. I got really lucky. It was lodged between my c3 and c4 vertebrae, just a couple millimeters from my spinal cord. If I was a quarter inch taller or shorter, it would have been a different story. So. But since then it's healed up pretty good."

Today, Christopher and Kelsey Linck are living their happily ever after with a brand new baby girl. Watch the whole video to see, perhaps, the coolest gender-reveal ever.

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