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  • Writer's pictureDeVal Lifecycle Support

Honoring our Heroes on Purple Heart Day: A Tribute to Veteran David Christian

August 7th, is Purple Heart Day, and we remember and honor the brave men and women who were wounded or killed in action. The Purple Heart medal is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed in combat. Purple Heart Day is an observance that commemorates the creation of the Purple Heart Medal in 1782 by General George Washington.

DeVal Lifecycle Support would also like to recognize one of our own, David Christian, a veteran, and the youngest and most decorated officer during the Vietnam War. Inspired by his mother, Dot, who was a U.S. Army aide to General Douglas MacArthur in WWI, David joined the Army at age 17. After rapidly rising through the enlisted ranks to sergeant, and despite his lack of formal education, David was admitted to Officer Candidate School and was commissioned at 18 years old, making him the youngest commissioned officer of the 20th and 21st century. He also received training in parachute jump school and with special forces green berets training, prior to being sent to Vietnam in 1968.

David served with the 1st Infantry Division- 75th Rangers Recon. His combination of grit, street smarts, and Army training gave him the ability to successfully complete missions and deliver critical strategic information. David gained a reputation among his troops as a cowboy, unafraid to strategically map out decisions while also quickly and aggressively attacking the enemy while protecting his men. On October 19th, 1968, David’s Recon unit engaged in a four-hour battle ten miles northeast of Quan Loi. David repeatedly disregarded his own safety to complete the mission and protect his men. Despite suffering serious shrapnel injuries to his right hand resulting in paralysis during the battle, David repeatedly refused medical treatment to ensure his troops were treated first and evacuated. Upon returning to his troops in January 1969, David was once again injured, this time much worse, and had napalm burns to 40% of his body.

Captain David Christian medically retired from the Army at the age of 21. Christian’s service in the military was marked by his bravery and a commitment to his troops. His actions on the battlefield earned him two nominations for the Medal of Honor. Additional acts of valor earned him the Distinguished Service Cross – the Nations Second Highest Valor Award, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal for twenty-five combat assaults into “hot” landing zones, seven Purple Hearts, two Vietnamese Crosses for Gallantry and a Combat Infantry Badge. Thank you for your service, David!


David Christian and DeVal Lifecycle Support form the joint venture DacVal, a service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB). DacVal is a full service build to print mechanical manufacturer of armament and ground support equipment, sub-assemblies, and major parts and components for military systems and sub-systems. DacVal is a full-service original equipment manufacturer with extensive high precision machining capabilities used to support our prime and government customers. Products include munitions trailers adapters & add-ons, drawbars, cargo loaders, weapon transport adapters, bomb hoist, dollies, self-propelled weapons loaders, testing and tool sets, and more.

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