United States Army Captain David Neil Christopher was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and was raised there until the age of eight before relocating with his family to Northern Alabama and then to Tallahassee, Florida. Christopher was born to a loving, hard working family and was the oldest of three children, compelling him to be responsible at a young age. Christopher was a fun-loving child, always seeking adventure and spending ample time playing outside with his brother. He sought out adventurous activities during his time as a Boy Scout, and he eventually achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Christopher felt called to serve his country and was inspired by his grandfather and late father who had both served in the United States Navy. Christopher recalls that because he wasn’t a strong swimmer, he decided to enlist in the United States Army as a delayed entry soldier in 1989 while still enrolled in High School. Christopher served with the USACAPOC 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, and 160th Military Police Battalion. Christopher served as a Company Commander, and took great pride and enjoyment in serving the soldiers under his command and mentoring them to become leaders in the Army and in the community.
Christopher sustained catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident the day before he was set to deploy to South Korea. Christopher was technically dead for seven minutes, and suffered a broken leg, three broken ribs, a crushed spinal cord at T6 and T7, a punctured lung resulting in internal bleeding, a two facet fracture in his neck, and paralysis from the waist down. He was placed in a medically induced coma for five days and awoke connected to several tubes and machines, but with the belief that he was brought back to do good. His recovery was difficult, having spent four months in the hospital and growing accustomed to life using a wheelchair. Even after he was released from the hospital, Christopher had to adapt to a new way of living; he moved into a new, handicap-accessible apartment and had to use a hospital bed for five years in place of his own bed, and was not allowed to drive for almost a year after the accident, relying on friends and family as well as public transportation for assistance.
Currently, Christopher lives in Odessa, Florida and has found immense fulfillment in his life. He is the owner of a holistic wellness business, focusing on helping people to break their dependence on pills and surgeries, and has become a Reiki Master. Christopher is also a Para athlete on the United States bobsled team, an international Boccia Ball referee, and participates in several local organizations such as Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Christopher works with Congressional leaders on legislation to assist paralyzed veterans, and loves to travel and still finds himself seeking out adventures.
Christopher would like to recognize his family for their support and love during his difficult recovery; his parents, who cared for him but did not coddle him, and his sister, who supported him and provided him with Reiki healing in the aftermath of his accident. Christopher expressed that a mortgage-free smart home from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation will help him to help other veterans, allowing him to devote more time to his business and volunteer work; he feels his purpose in this life is to help others. Christopher cites this as the first time he has felt appreciated for his military service, and intends to pay it forward and continue to help others in situations similar to his.