In 2003, Fishers resident Chris Tucker had just finished his freshman year of college at Indiana University and was looking for a way to pay for his tuition. He decided to sign up for the U.S. Army Infantry since he could fit it into summers, not miss school, and it would pay for college. Infantry members are trained in close-range combat and operate weapons and equipment to destroy enemy ground forces. Because of this, Infantry is considered one of the most physically demanding and psychologically stressful jobs in the military.
chris tucker in uniform
During Chris’s senior year in 2006, he was deployed to Iraq for one year. Chris was a member of Team Gator which conducted extensive joint combat patrols and enemy clearing operations in both the Ramadi and Fallujah during some of the most intense fighting of the Iraq campaign. While in Iraq, Chris was a recipient of a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) for his service.

While Chris served, he described it as a culture shock when he arrived in Iraq and that “It was a whole other world compared to America.” When he was deployed, he felt prepared mentally and physically, but as Chris stated, no training can ever fully prepare you for war. Overseas, he was constantly in a “kill or be killed” mentality once he left the safety of the wire.

Transitioning back to civilian life made it difficult to not always feel on edge. Chris returned in September 2007, and he was just happy to be home and alive. While going through the reintegration process, Chris recalled the Colonel naming off statistics on how many members of their team would suffer from PTSD, anxiety, or depression and thinking that would not happen to anyone he knew or himself. Looking back, he realized how prevalent mental health challenges are for his fellow veterans.

Veterans have a special bond with each other, and Chris stated that is because they understand what each other have gone through and experienced. Many veterans do not talk about their service because others cannot comprehend, and it is difficult for soldiers who have been on the front lines of war to be vulnerable. After coming home from deployment, many soldiers think that if they can fight in a war, they can overcome mental health challenges on their own, and that is where the stigma comes from.

The biggest piece of advice that Chris had was to take care of yourself physically and mentally. While it was hard for Chris in the beginning directly after deployment, he found playing guitar and working out helped fill his mind with other healthy activities instead of focusing on the negative impacts of what he experienced overseas.


Neighborhood: Avalon

Favorite Local Restaurant: Ale Emporium

Fishers Park: Brooks School Park

Favorite Local Business: Fishers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Favorite Way to Spend a Saturday: Coaching my kid’s soccer in the morning, then going to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, followed by taking the family to the Adrenaline Family Adventure Park and finishing up with dinner at Bubba’s 33.

If you or a loved one is in distress call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support. The line is open 24/7.  More resources are available at