Sergeant Major Chris Demars was raised in Massachusetts. Shortly after enrolling in college, he realized he also wanted to join the military. In 1988, Demars joined the Army National Guard as an Infantryman. After six and a half years of being a traditional Guardsman, he became a fulltime service member in the Massachusetts National Guard AGR Program. Over his 26-year career in the military, Demars served in several different capacities: recruiter, combat engineer, and infantryman.
Demars volunteered for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005 and served as an Embedded Tactical Trainer in Afghanistan. He deployed again in 2011 and was wounded twice within 10 days, the second time by a suicide bomber who detonated himself near Demar’s on a motorcycle. He sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis of his right eye pupil, broken eye socket, eardrum ruptures, flash burns, his teeth broken and knocked out, vertebra broken, severe shrapnel wounds, both legs were broken, nerve damage to both legs, and he had a femoral vein tear. Demars was evacuated to the United States.
Because of his actions, Demars received two Bronze Stars for Service, two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, and the Combat Infantry Badge for his two tours in Afghanistan. Roughly two years after his injury while he was still recuperating, Demars bought a mountain bike since he could not run anymore. With continued setbacks after buying the bike, it took Demars nine months to be able to ride again and he is now hooked on mountain biking. Mountain biking has brought both mental and physical wellbeing into his life, which has helped him tremendously in his transition to civilian life. Demars has also found another outlet by becoming a member of the Salute Military Golf Association where he spends time on the golf course with fellow veterans.
Being a member of Team 43 has provided him with some new friendships and feels it’s therapeutic to be able to keep up with them. “We have been there to help with emotional support and encouragement when bad things happen in our lives.”
Demars earned his Bachelor’s degree in Project Management while still on active duty. He retired in 2015. During his transitional leave, Demars was hired at his local community college as the Career/Affair’s Veterans Counselor. He now works to help veterans who are transitioning from the military as they enroll in college. Just recently, Demars has started a second part time job as a local Veterans Service Officer for the Upper Pioneer Valley Service Office where he helps local veteran’s access veteran programs and file veterans disability claims.
Demars enjoys his summer vacations with friends and family members RV Camping in Maine. He is married to his wife Terri, and has a son, Zach, and stepson, Kyle