To the Editor:

We very much appreciated seeing our friend Russ Christensen on the front page of the  Journal,  May 24 (“Contributions of three men with local ties honored in photo exhibit”). While the details supplied were correct, we want to add some details about Russ’ significant contributions to Maine and the nation. In chronological order:

Russ worked as a medic in Korea at the end of the war there, in 1954, and rose to the rank of lieutenant.

In Costa Rica after he left the military he taught English to Costa Rican schoolchildren as part of the CARE contingent in Central America.

After getting his law degree, he started in Presque Isle as an attorney for the indigent at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. In private practice later, he helped found a womens’ shelter in Bangor.

Returning to international work, he moved to Texas to help in a case on behalf of former servicemen and women who were suffering from Agent Orange. As a result of success in the case, Russ and others were invited to serve as administrative law judges handling asylum cases. He served several years in that role, including aboard a ship in the Caribbean.


Finishing his term, Russ returned to Maine, to Temple and then West Farmington. He continued public service by writing opinion pieces for the Franklin Journal. Surprisingly, the newspaper’s editor did not pick up that pertinent piece of information!

Chalmers Hardenbergh


Fran Fuller


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