Niagara Gazette

January 6, 2013

Wounded Lewiston vet honored by Legislature

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Lewiston native, wounded in military combat this past summer, was honored Wednesday by the Niagara County Legislature.

Marine Lance Corporal Christopher T. Bristol, 22, was declared a Niagara County Hero by legislative proclamation. Additional citations by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Senate and state Assembly were presented by Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, and Assembly member John Ceretto, R-Lewiston.

Bristol took a bullet wound to an arm during a firefight in Afghanistan over the summer and returned to combat duty less than two weeks later, as soon as his stitches were healed.

Bristol insisted his injury was "minor ... superficial," especially compared to injuries suffered by other soldiers in the firefight, but his employer thought differently. Bristol was awarded a Purple Heart and a Navy Marine Corps commendation medal with a "V" for valor.

Maziarz introduced Bristol in legislative chambers Wednesday night as "one of Niagara County's finest sons." When lawmakers gave him a standing ovation, he thanked them.

The war in Afghanistan is "not the most popular, but it's still alive and kicking," he said. "It means the world to me ... that some people know it's still on."

Bristol is a member of the 1st Batallion, 1st Marine Division, Combined Anti-Armor Team 1, which left Afghanistan in late November. When his leave ends next week, he'll return to Camp Pendleton, Calif., and await a new assignment. If needed, he'd volunteer to go back to Afghanistan, he said.

Bristol is the son of Timothy and Jane Bristol and the nephew of retired Marine Col. Dan Bristol. He was home-schooled and is a graduate of Niagara County Community College.