David A. Christian

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David Christian
David A Christian in dress uniform.jpg
Christian in his Army dress uniform
Personal details
Born (1948-10-26) October 26, 1948 (age 66)
Gainesville, Florida
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Residence Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania[1]
Alma mater Villanova
Rutgers (J.D.)
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star (2)
Bronze Star (2) with "V"
Purple Heart (7)
Air Medal (2)
Army Commendation Medal
Website Campaign website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1965-1969
Rank Captain

David A. Christian (born October 26, 1948)[1] is a several times decorated[2][3] 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.[4][5] Christian lost in the primary election to Tom Smith.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

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.[7]

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.[1]

Military career[edit]

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.[8] Following Officer Candidate School he completed Army Airborne School (Jump School) and Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") training.[8] He was promoted to Captain (O-3) at age 20.[8] 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.[8] He was medically retired from the Army at age 21.[2]

Decorations and awards[edit]

David Christian receives the Purple Heart.

Christian's military awards (service ribbons) include:

Post-military career[edit]

David Christian meets with Ronald Reagan.

Christian was elected National Commander of the Legion of Valor in 1978, and holds a lifetime Board of Directors position with the organization.[9] 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.[10] He was a founding Vice-President of the Council of Vietnam Veterans.[3] He left the organization, founding the splinter group of the United Vietnam Veterans Organization (UVVO),[11] which merged with the VVA in 1986.

Christian served as Assistant State Director, US Department of Labor-Veterans Employment during the Reagan administration.[12] In July 1981, material pertaining to Agent Orange health issues was stolen from his office in what Christian characterized as a "Watergate type" burglary.[12]

Christian, a Republican, twice ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives against Peter H. Kostmayer, losing by less than 4,000 votes in 1984, and 15,000 in 1986.

Christian is a former Fox News military analyst,[13] having worked with them from 2002-2003.[14][15] Christian is also interviewed in the documentary Picking Up the Pieces (Making sense of the 60's V.5).[16] Christian also appeared in John Pilger's "Heroes" documentary.[17]

He collaborated with William Hoffer on the autobiographical Victor Six.[18]

2012 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In mid-2011, Christian formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for the United States Senate seat currently held by incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. in the 2012 election.[19]

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".[4][5] 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.[20] 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).[21]

Christian was defeated in the April 24, 2012, primary by Tom Smith.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Christian, David A.". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b The Unfinished War: Vietnam and the American Conscience Walter H. Capps. P. 4. 1990. Beacon Press
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^ a b "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. 
  5. ^ a b "2012: David Christian Enters U.S. Senate Race". Pike County Republican Committee. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Brennan, Kevin (24 April 2012). "Smith Wins Pennsylvania Senate GOP Primary". National Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "About David". David Christian for U.S. Senate. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Local Soldier may tie Audie Murphy's record". Ron Avery. Bucks County Courier Times. August 22, 1969.
  9. ^ Officers. Legion of Valor.
  10. ^ Interview with David Christian, 1983 (Video Interview) WGBH Media Library & Archives.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Morris. "Kostmayer, Christian find little upon which to agree." Montgomery County Bulletin (?). October 23, 1984.
  12. ^ a b No author named. "Agent Orange Documents stolen." Pacific Stars and Stripes. July 9, 1981.
  13. ^ Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. Alexandra Kitty. (p 207) Disinformation Company. April 2005.
  14. ^ Topics and Guests for Monday, Nov. 4, 2002. Fox News.
  15. ^ Guests and Topics: March 12, 2003. Fox News.
  16. ^ Documentary writeup
  17. ^ John Pilger - Heroes (1 of 5) - Video on YouTube.
  18. ^ Victor Six. David Christian & William Hoffer. 1990 Hb McGraw-Hill, 1991 Pb Pocket Books.
  19. ^ Schlegal, Bradley (11 July 2011). "Bucks County businessman David Christian ponders run for U.S. Senate". The Times Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Fontaine, Tom (10 February 2012). "GOP lacks name recognition in Casey bid". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Gibson, Keegan (28 February 2012). "Rohrer Wins PoliticsPA Reader Poll". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 

External links[edit]