Joseph Anthony Kristopher (Kris) Cichonski was born on December 24th, 1986 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Walt and Ela Cichonski. He grew up in Churchville, in Bucks County, PA, with an older brother, Jason and younger brother, Collin. His mom passed at the age of 33 when he was just 3 months old. Kris played football and wrestled throughout primary school at Council Rock South in Richboro and in college.
Kris felt deeply impacted after experiencing 911 as a young boy and always wanted to do something to make a difference in this world. During his junior year of high school, at 17 years old, Kris joined the United States Army Airborne Infantry. After high school he was awarded a full military officer scholarship to Valley Forge Military College and was accepted into the Early Commissioning Program. After graduating Valley Forge and earning a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, he proudly completed his Psychology degree at Drexel University, his Dad's alma mater. He later continued work on his master's degree in Psychology also at Drexel University.
After college Kris was deployed with the military to Afghanistan and also worked throughout the middle east with private security contractors. During his second deployment in Afghanistan, Kris sustained an injury in combat and was medically discharged from the US Army with honors.
Kris lived the horrors of war and it left an impact on him that he battled upon his return home, like so many veterans. He was determined to share the recovery experience he went through with as many vets and people as he possibly could and still make a difference. He was welcomed back as a hero and speaker in his grade school at Churchville Elementary to teach the kids about the pride and the struggles in the
U S military. He later spoke about his recovery path from injury to Psychology students at the University of Lublin in Poland.
Since leaving the military Kris worked closely with multiplecharities for homeless veterans, eventually incorporating and running a non-profit organization called V.E.T.S. (Victor Echo Tango Sierra). His non-profit, V.E.T.S. focused on rehabilitation for homeless and displaced veterans. Through V.E.T.S, Kris gave of himself and worked tirelessly to help those around him through charitable work, organizing clothing, food drives, housing and cars for any veteran in need. Kris conducted therapy sessions, based on his own experiences, to help vets with PTSD or substance abuse issues with the help of his faithful therapy dog Milo. To help support his charitable organization and to guide vets in purchasing homes, Kris obtained his Realtors license and worked in real estate with RE/MAX centered in King of Prussia.
He was fortunate enough to travel around the world visiting Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, the Caribbean Islands and Cuba. Wherever he went no matter what language was spoken, Kris would immediately relate to people with his infectious smile and his oversized heart.
Remember his selfless giving, his ear to ear smile, his most compassionate and loving heart,his humor and his fantastic laugh. He would like that!
Kris is survived by his loving father, Walt Cichonski, his stepmothers Beth Cichonski and Carol Newton, his loving brothers Jason Cichonski (Tara Cichonski) and Collin Cichonski and his most loving dog, Milo Cichonski.
Thank You and please share your love for Kris
-written by Collin Cichonski