Chris Carlisle, 1st Sgt USMC (Ret) went to his glory on August 18, 2017. Chris was well known for his bravery during his 3 tours in OEF/OIF, where he received a Purple Heart after suffering combat wounds while serving with 3/5. Chris lost his life while racing with the Warrior Built organization in the Vegas to Reno event in a tragic dirt bike accident.
Many people knew Chris as a Marine - but he was so much more- a devoted father who loved his son Dylan and two daughters Megan and Hailey; a loving son to his parents Melinda and Mike; the oldest sibling, role model and "leader of the pack" to Brian, Dana, Kimee, and Tyler; a fun-loving uncle to his 7 nieces and nephews, and a loyal friend to many. His faith in God and love for helping others made him incredibly special to those who knew him. Chris was passionate about helping other Marines, and additionally served with the Wounded Warrior and Mighty Oaks programs.
Chris' mom Melinda has taken on the emotional and financial burdens of transporting his remains from Nevada back to California, as well as the burial and funeral costs. It is the desire of friends of the family as well as her other children that she not be burdened by this cost in this time of incredibly heartbreaking loss. Any additional funds will be placed in trust for his daughters college expenses.
A tragic accident struck our team at the Vegas to Reno off-road race on Friday August 18th...I haven't posted anything about it, out of respect for the family to be notified first and to gather all the facts...My good friend and fellow Combat Veteran Chris Carlisle passed away after crashing the race bike at race mile 290.
Chris was my close friend and its extremely difficult to even type this message without crying....We shared so much with each other and I have spent almost everyday this past week and half with him preparing for this race. First and foremost I want everyone to know that Chris was the happiest I've seen him in several months... Some may have known him as Marine and some outside of the Marine Corps as a personal friend...I knew him as both.
He was going thru a challenging time in his personal life and I am thankful I was one of the very few who always stayed close to him and had his back!!...Seeing him interact with everyone on our team was inspiring and made me proud to call him my friend...my brother... He impacted so many lives positively that without a doubt his legacy , his memory will always be with us in some form.
Chris rode his first section in the morning from pit#2 Race mile 57 to pit#3 RM93. He had a great ride and came into pit#3 so motivated and pumped up to be ripping on a dirt bike in this race. He passed the bike off to another combat vet Jason Hamm (my brother) and got in the chase truck with me. He was so pumped and stoked on this adventure we both were on... I got on the race bike at pit#5 RM 183 after my brother passed it off to me and I rode the bike to pit#7 RM242 where Chris was waiting for me to pass the bike off to him...at pit 7 I locked hands with Chris and hugged him as I gave him the bike... He had a big smile and I told him to enjoy it and be safe... that would be the last time I saw my friend before he crashed at RM290...
I didn't go to pit#8 RM 273 because of construction delays on the highway to pit #9.... I didn't want Chris to beat us to Pit 9 and have to wait on us because Chris was passing the bike off to me at Pit#9 RM 300. I was geared up waiting for Chris at pit 9 Baja Pits when I heard radio traffic that a trophy truck hit a bike or a quad... then they confirmed over the radio it was a quad. The we hear more radio traffic that a UTV was flipped and hit a tree and then another call that a rider was down and needs medical attention around RM 250 but we knew Chris was passed that because we have our own internal satellite tracking system from LeadNav Systems and I can see the race bike location with real time updates every 5 minutes.
All those events on the radio happened within 10 minutes over the radio net and then we hear race bike 352 is down and needs medical attention between Pit #8 and Pit# 9....I immediately ran over to the BITD officials trailer at Pit 9 and told them I know exactly where he is because of our internal tracker we put on the bike from Lead Nav.
They announced on the radio net that he was at RM290 and I grabbed the medic from BITD and he jumped in our chase truck to head towards RM290 which was 10 miles from us. As we departed the medic and I agreed he should call in a life flight helicopter because we don't know the extent of the injuries and it was a rough time driving backwards on the race course with Trophy Trucks coming at us.
Unknown to us he was found and helped within minutes of his crash. A helicopter from Terrible Herbst team landed to help Chris after getting notified from either there driver or another racer that a rider was down on the race course and Trophy Trucks are now coming thru... The Herbst Team landed to help Chris and moved him to a safer location off the course. They didn't have a medic on board so they called the Red Bull team helicopter behind them because they had a medic on board.
The Red Bull team medic helped to stabilize Chris... We are very thankful for the Herbst team landing to assist Chris and we cant thank Jessie the Medic from Bryce Menzies Red Bull team for her comforting Chris and holding him all the way to the hospital... He was conscious for her and she talked to him never letting go of his hand.....
He was dropped off at Hawthorne hospital where they tried to stabilize him until the life flight arrived from Reno. Unfortunately Chris passed away during the life flight to Reno... His internal injuries were just too extensive but he fought like the Marine he was and held on longer than any normal man could....
We were beyond devastated to receive the call of his passing and its taken me hours to finish writing this because it hurts so much.... but I want everyone to know Chris was happy and he was finally at peace with everything that was happening in his life.
I am thankful God had me spend this last week with my friend and I was able to share in his happiness. I will remember you brother for who you were not how you passed....I will remember our conversations, our good times, our friendship with no judgments.....
I will Smoke one for you my man! I love you... ill see you again...
-Nick Hamm Founder Warrior Built Foundation
Christopher Michael Carlisle, USMC 1stSgt (Ret)
Chris Carlisle went to his glory on August 18, 2017. He was born September 23, 1977 in South Carolina to Mike and Melinda, and as the first of five children, showed his natural leadership abilities early in life. Always the athlete, he was standout baseball and football player, as well as a nationally-ranked BMX rider.
Chris graduated from Twentynine Palms High School in 1995. In 1996, he proudly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he began his career as a distinguished leader and mentor. He served 3 tours in OEF/OIF and was the recipient of a Bronze Star, Purple Heart with gold star in lieu of 2nd award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Valor distinguishing device and 2 gold stars in lieu of 3rd award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor distinguishing device and 2 gold stars in lieu of 3rd award, and a Combat Action Ribbon with 1 gold star in lieu of 2nd award. In March 2016, he retired and began a second career as the National Program Director of Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs. More recently, he was racing with The Warrior Built Organization, and he lost his life while racing the #352 in the Vegas to Reno event.
Chris was passionate about helping others. God and family were first in his life, and everyone who met Chris got a brilliant smile, a laugh, and usually some sage life advice. His faith, personal strength in the face of adversity, and his ability to always find humor, adventure, and a good time left a lasting impression on everyone he met.
Chris is survived by his father Mike Carlisle of Yucca Valley, mother Melinda Taylor (Dean) of Fallbrook, his children Dylan, Megan, and Hailey and their mother Brooke of Yuma, AZ, brother Brian (Janna) of Alta, IA, sister Dana Abell (Brandon) of Mohave Valley, AZ, sister Kimberlee Beaird (Dillon) of Saint Robert, MO, brother Tyler (Anna) of Oceanside, his nephews and nieces Micaiah, Zach, Bradlee, Brodee, Madeline, Robert, and Bentlee, extended family, and countless friends. He will forever be missed.
A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, August 23 at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel at 11am. Graveside services will be held at Riverside National Cemetary on August 29 at 1:45pm. Receptions will follow both services. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Chris' name to Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs, The Warrior Built Foundation, or God's Army of League City, Texas.