GySgt L. Christian Bussler

Retired Mortuary Affairs Marine & Author of 'No Tougher Duty, No Greater Honor'

Is it possible to grow accustomed to the sight of charred bodies in the battlefield, and worse yet – be responsible for bagging them up and processing their return to loved ones with honor? This week’s Team Never Quit guest, Marine Reservist Chris Bussler, filled that role for the U.S. Marines as part of a Mortuary Affairs Unit in Iraq.
Listen to Chris’ account of the reality and consequences of war from a different perspective than most. It’s almost unbelievable that a man could go from being an everyday postal carrier to an active participant in the front lines of battle with a single phone call.
3 tours of duty later, Chris’ book, No Tougher Duty, No Greater Honor, came to fruition and provides an autobiographical account of his experiences, and their unforgettable impact on his life.


In this episode you will hear:


  • I grew up traveling and never having a place to call home. So I really didn’t want to see the world, but I wanted to serve.
  • I was told the reserve unit near my house accepted grunts, but what they didn’t tell me is that they didn’t do grunt things, so I was assigned to go out on the front lines in a mortuary affairs unit, find the guys that got killed, recover their remains, and bring them back.
  • A 22mm mortar picked me up and threw me off the road and destroyed the radio I was carrying. As a result, I got an ice cream scoop taken – “a shark bite” – out of my calf.
  • I still have a piece of shrapnel near my femoral artery.
  • Family was always big, but now, family is everything. I want to be there as a good father.
  • Even the mightiest of mountains will eventually tumble into the sea.
  • If you let the waves hit you every day, eventually it will knock you down.
  • It takes a village to welcome back the warriors. My book reminds people that the guys that are killed on the battlefield are just the beginning of the sacrifice.
  • The guys that go to war are real people with real aspirations.
  • Soldiers put their families on hold, everything on hold – to do a job that the American people asked them to do. That’s sacrifice.
  • When we heard there were SEALS operating in our area, we thought “Holy cow, we must be high on the totem pole.”
  • I still remember the razor burns to keep a good seal on our gas masks.
  • We were training with World War II manuals and making things up on the fly.

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