2019 Veteran Hero Awards
Chris is a 14 year Combat Marine Veteran, who volunteers with TEAM RWB (6 years), TEAM Rubicon (4 year/worked with Hurricane Sandy efforts) was the Commander of the American Legion Costa Mesa (2 years) is an Ambassador for Warriors Scholar Program, served a Fellowship with Mission Continues in Orange County with a Children's After school Program and Greyhound Rescue. He serves with the Trauma Intervention Program, OC Chapter and volunteers 50+ hours a month, is a Vanguard Graduate and is apart of the Veteran Program there as a speaker, they created award the "Chris Merkel Leadership Award" with a Trophy because of all of his volunteering and leadership. He is a Saddleback Alumni and was named Alumni of the Year and Student Veteran of the Year. He also served in the Army Reserves for 2 years. He is apart of the "Max Love Project" at CHOC, plays Santa and is apart of the Little Warriors/Big Warriors project. He also Volunteers with Bolsa Chica Wetlands (4 years). He also is the Veteran Center Outreach Coordinator. In his spare time he is an Assistant Boy Scout Leader. As you can see by the above, Chris's volunteer efforts reaches out to low-income, minorities, women, children and Veterans. Chris is an asset to Orange County and ALL of those who live here. He has such a giving heart and can be found helping out where ever needed. What is not mentioned above is he is graduating this year in the Psychology Clinical Program and will finish his doctorate in 2021. The benefits his volunteering offer is endless. I believe that all of the work mentioned above is all volunteering including joining the Marines, although he got paid for being a Marine, he volunteered to be a Marine. Chris makes himself available and is just a phone call away.