Christian Green: Tour in Africa couldn’t keep Virignia National Guardsman from his studies ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
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Christian Green: Tour in Africa couldn’t keep Virignia National Guardsman from his studies

Green and Painter image
Christian Green and military benefits official Sharon Painter.

Even while serving his country halfway around the world, aspiring nurse Christian Green kept up with his studies at Laurel Ridge.

Five years after joining the Virginia National Guard in 2017, Spc. Green – who was born in Winchester, but graduated from high school in West Virginia – was deployed to Kenya with Alpha Co. 229th BEB (Brigade Engineer Battalion). There, they provided security for a small joint base, called Camp Simba, operated by Kenyans and personnel from the U.S. Air Force and U.S Marine Corps.

The deployment delayed Spc. Green’s applying to nursing school – which he now plans to do in fall 2024 – but he still managed to take an ethics course and English while he was in Africa.

“I took time away from the nursing program, but I shouldn’t have to take time away from school,” said Spc. Green. “There are online options, especially since the pandemic.”

He was touched that Laurel Ridge’s military benefits official, Sharon Painter, got cards together to send to him in Kenya.

“It was good to see that people were still thinking about you back home,” he said.

A year before going overseas, Spc. Green spent 26 days guarding the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection.

After graduating in 2013 from Washington High School in Jefferson County, Spc. Green started working as a unit secretary in the emergency department at Jefferson Medical Center, where his mother was a charge nurse. With ambitions of working in healthcare, he saw the position as a foot in the door.

Posing with flowers and card

Christian Green and his mom on Valentine’s Day.

He began working at Winchester Medical Center as a transporter and later an emergency department technician in 2018. Today, he does communications operations in the emergency department taking EMS and transport squads.

“I knew that I didn’t necessarily want to do active duty,” Spc. Green said of his decision to join the National Guard. “This is a good way to start my service career.”

Spc. Green enrolled in Laurel Ridge in fall 2018, using his military benefits.

“Laurel Ridge was local and this was a good opportunity for me to do affordable classes and still be able to work full time,” he said.

Spc. Green said he is interested in being an emergency room nurse.

“You never know what could walk in through the doors,” he said of emergency medicine. “You kind of have to have a wide range of skills to be able to take care of anybody.”

Spc. Green has been happy with the education and guidance he has received at Laurel Ridge. One of his favorite teachers is Anatomy & Physiology Professor Jeff Hollar.

“He’s a great guy,” said Spc. Green. “He had a really good teaching style and was down to earth.”

Last year, Spc. Green signed up for another four-year commitment to the National Guard.

“We’re all in this together and Alpha Co. treats each other like family,” he said.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.