Chris Christine

As Interviewed by Pia Deshpande, March 5, 2011
"GI is a term that means General Issue. The equipment in the military was general issue so a soldier was also General Issue."
Chris Christine

Introductory Profile: About Chris Christine

The Interviewee:
The interviewee’s name is Chris Christine. He is a Vietnam War veteran. Chris is a man who is close to six foot tall and he appeared relaxed in a t-shirt during the interview. He reflected on his experiences as a soldier with a mix of pride, grief, satisfaction and regret. He mentioned that the experiences gave him an important perspective on life.

The Reason He Joined:
His father was a professional naval officer and pilot who had flying experience with commercial airlines and in the Royal Air Force during the early part of World War II. Chris attended a small private college in Florida, but he left there to join the Army and attend flight school because he’d always enjoyed flying. He remembered flying with his father even before he was in school. Chris joined the Army because it was the only service that had an aviation school program that was open at the time in which you didn't have to be a commissioned officer.

The Interview:
Chris had a very relaxed manner and told all his stories from start to finish. The tone of the interview was generally light, though it did have some satirical moments. His tone of voice was also very relaxed and informal. He shared his experiences as a soldier in the thick of a war, but he also made the interview interesting with light humor.

Chris gave detailed answers to questions and attempted to share his experiences with me while reflecting how all of it took place many years ago. His pauses, during which he sometimes closed eyes, offered a trace of sadness, and his laughter brought out a lot more than just an interview. As a soldier, citizen, human being, and also a young man, he was thrust into combat actions on the other side of the world, and he came back with a deeper meaning of human life that includes victory, agony, patriotism, loss of life, saving lives, innocence, cruelty and so on. In the end, Chris seemed to have a sense of satisfaction that he answered the call of duty and made his contribution to make a difference for the better.