Meet Chris, A Globally-Minded Veteran

ID # 3728

Farsi, Veteran

Hi everybody! I’m the blond guy on the left.

My name is Chris Casberg, and I am a senior Global Studies student at UNC-Chapel Hill. I live in Durham with my wife, a pharmacy grad student at UNC. Though we’ve only been here two years, we consider Durham our home. We’ve both lived in so many other towns and states, it’s hard to pick a real point of origin!

My international experience began in the most mundane way possible- with day trips to Winnipeg, Canada as a boy. My family would load up the van and set off from our small farm in northern Minnesota for Winnipeg’s famed zoo. Now, Canada is hardly an exotic locale. The American plains blend seamlessly with Canada’s farmland, and the only reason I knew we were in another country was because a border patrol officer waved at us as we crossed national boundaries. Also, they used funny money and their Coke bottles looked different.

Skip forward a few years to 18-year-old, Private Casberg of the United States Marine Corps. I didn’t know much about the larger world. All I knew was that I had orders in my hand saying to report to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterrey, California for language training. Yes, sir!


I served for 5 years in the active duty Marine Corps as a Middle-East linguist and analyst. I spent a year learning Persian Farsi, the language of Iran, at DLI FLC from a team of expatriate Iranians. That whole year, I was immersed in their language, culture, and yes, even their  food. Two years later, the military sent me to another language school- this time to learn Pashto, a language spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Again, I was submerged into another culture’s world, learning all about far away peoples, places, and tongues- this time from Pashtuns! I have never been to Iran or Afghanistan, but because of my experiences, I have a deep appreciation and love for their language and people.

Due to the sensitive nature of my job, I was never deployed overseas. I have traveled abroad many times on my own, however! I dined on kimchi bokum bop in Seoul, South Korea, as snow quietly fell from the night sky. I took a bus across Cambodia, going from the majestic temples in the jungles around Siem Reap to the lush coastline of Kampot. I road a cable car to the top of the breathtaking Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, and I competed in a watermelon-eating contest at a camp in Odessa, Ukraine. I ate fish and chips and drank a pint of beer in a pub in London, England, and I even argued about the origins of the famous poet Rumi with a Turkish shopkeeper in Istanbul, Turkey.


I have a passion for global understanding and intercultural outreach. As a veteran, I know the result of when two different peoples fail to understand one another. I believe that peace is the result of understanding and education, and I hope to use my experience to reach that goal.

Created By

Chris Casberg

Leave a Reply