David A. Christian
|Christian in his Army dress uniform|
October 26, 1948 |
|Residence||Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1965-1969|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star (2)
Bronze Star (2) with "V"
Purple Heart (7)
Air Medal (2)
Army Commendation Medal
David A. Christian (born October 26, 1948) is a several times decorated American Vietnam War veteran, best known for his veterans' advocacy efforts. During the 2012 election, he was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey, Jr. Christian lost in the primary election to Tom Smith.
Early life and education
Christian was born in Gainesville, Florida, on October 26, 1948. He was raised in Levittown, Pennsylvania. Christian's father left the family, causing his mother, a veteran of World War II, to raise Christian and his three siblings alone. Christian's mother, Dorothy Christian, was an aide to General Douglas MacArthur during WWII.
Christian completed his high school education at Woodrow Wilson High School in 1966. In 1972, he graduated on the Dean's List from Villanova University. From 1972 to 1976, Christian attended law school at Rutgers University. In addition to this, he has also attended graduate programs at Villanova, the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, and Middlebury College.
Christian enlisted in the United States Army at age 17. After being rapidly promoted through the enlisted ranks to Sergeant, he was admitted to Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) and commissioned at 18. Following Officer Candidate School he completed Army Airborne School (Jump School) and Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") training. He was promoted to Captain (O-3) at age 20. Christian was critically burned by napalm during the Vietnam War in January 1969. He was treated in Vietnam hospitals until February 20, 1969. He was transferred to the 106 General Hospital (a division of Brooke Burn Center was established there) in Japan. He was medically retired from the Army at age 21.
Decorations and awards
Christian's military awards (service ribbons) include:
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Silver Star with oak leaf cluster
- Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster and "V" device
- Purple Heart with six oak leaf clusters
- Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Army Commendation Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Vietnam Gallantry Cross with star and palm
- Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with palm
- Vietnam Campaign Medal
- Combat Infantryman Badge
- Parachutist Badge
Christian was elected National Commander of the Legion of Valor in 1978, and holds a lifetime Board of Directors position with the organization. Membership in the Legion of Valor is restricted to those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross.
Frustrated with how Vietnam War veterans were treated upon their return to the United States, both by the general public and the government, Christian became an advocate and veterans leader. He was a founding Vice-President of the Council of Vietnam Veterans. He left the organization, founding the splinter group of the United Vietnam Veterans Organization (UVVO), which merged with the VVA in 1986.
Christian served as Assistant State Director, US Department of Labor-Veterans Employment during the Reagan administration. In July 1981, material pertaining to Agent Orange health issues was stolen from his office in what Christian characterized as a "Watergate type" burglary.
Christian is a former Fox News military analyst, having worked with them from 2002-2003. Christian is also interviewed in the documentary Picking Up the Pieces (Making sense of the 60's V.5). Christian also appeared in John Pilger's "Heroes" documentary.
He collaborated with William Hoffer on the autobiographical Victor Six.
2012 U.S. Senate election
Later in the year, Christian officially declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate for the seat being held by incumbent Bob Casey, Jr. In his campaign announcement, Christian described himself as a "Ronald Reagan Republican". A poll conducted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV in early February 2012 showed Christian tied for last in the Republican field, with 1% of respondents. A poll conducted in late February by PoliticsPA of the website's readership, however, placed Christian in second place, trailing only Sam Rohrer. Christian finished with 21% of respondents (364 votes) to Rohrer's 37% (651 votes).
Christian was defeated in the April 24, 2012, primary by Tom Smith.
- "Christian, David A.". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- The Unfinished War: Vietnam and the American Conscience Walter H. Capps. P. 4. 1990. Beacon Press
- Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation Ever, and How It Changed America, Steven M. Gillon (p 187) 2004 Simon & Schuster. Mentions awards specifically cited.
- "David Christian: "We're In" Officially Launches 2012 U.S. Senate Campaign Against Bob Casey, Jr.". David Christian for U.S. Senate. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "2012: David Christian Enters U.S. Senate Race". Pike County Republican Committee. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Brennan, Kevin (24 April 2012). "Smith Wins Pennsylvania Senate GOP Primary". National Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "About David". David Christian for U.S. Senate. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Local Soldier may tie Audie Murphy's record". Ron Avery. Bucks County Courier Times. August 22, 1969.
- Officers. Legion of Valor.
- Interview with David Christian, 1983 (Video Interview) WGBH Media Library & Archives.
- Kennedy, Morris. "Kostmayer, Christian find little upon which to agree." Montgomery County Bulletin (?). October 23, 1984.
- No author named. "Agent Orange Documents stolen." Pacific Stars and Stripes. July 9, 1981.
- Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. Alexandra Kitty. (p 207) Disinformation Company. April 2005.
- Topics and Guests for Monday, Nov. 4, 2002. Fox News.
- Guests and Topics: March 12, 2003. Fox News.
- Documentary writeup
- John Pilger - Heroes (1 of 5) - Video on YouTube.
- Victor Six. David Christian & William Hoffer. 1990 Hb McGraw-Hill, 1991 Pb Pocket Books.
- Schlegal, Bradley (11 July 2011). "Bucks County businessman David Christian ponders run for U.S. Senate". The Times Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Fontaine, Tom (10 February 2012). "GOP lacks name recognition in Casey bid". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Gibson, Keegan (28 February 2012). "Rohrer Wins PoliticsPA Reader Poll". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- David Christian 2012 Senate Campaign website
- David Christian website
- Our Final Debt To Dave Christian
- David Christian in Philadelphia Inquirer (First search result)
- Information regarding Christian's award of the Distinguished Service Cross (Scroll down)
- Legion of Valor Officers
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library file on Veteran's Affairs on appointment of David Christian