94.3 The Dude’s highlighted soldier of the week: US Marine Veteran Chris Koufos

94.3 The Dude’s Soldier Salute host Ethan Gardner conducts a weekly interview with a local member of the Armed Forces. The current soldier of the week is US Marine Veteran Chris Koufos. This is a preview of Gardner's interview with Koufos.

Ethan Gardner (left) with Koufos and family.

If you are ever traveling down Highway 378, you absolutely must stop into Lexington Guns and Shooting Range and meet Chris Koufos. He is the owner and operator of the range, and prides himself on supporting the local community through veterans outreach and non-profit fundraising. The range is a family-owned business, and many incoming customers can even expect to meet his newborn baby boy, Damien.

Koufos is originally from Weymouth, Mass., and just like many other of our northern friends, came down to South Carolina to start a new and more sun-filled experience. One visit to a shooting range turned into a part time job, which quickly turned into a management position. Chris was offered the chance of a lifetime, and now is living his dream of owning a firearms store.

Koufos’ life wasn’t always a “rose garden.” He is a veteran of the Battle of Nasiriyah, the historical “Garden of Eden”, Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq. Koufos joined the United States Marine Corps in 2001, immediately after the World Trade Center attacks. He would go on to serve honorably as a machine gunner for the famous 1st Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division where he received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal with “Valor” device, for resupplying friendly machine gunners while exposing himself to intense enemy fire.

More about Koufos can be heard on 94.3 The Dude’s Soldier Salute.

Categories: Columbia, Lexington, Military, Richland County