Wayne Christner of Warsaw Honored as Veteran of the Month – InkFreeNews.com
By Lea Sander
WARSAW — The Kosciusko County March Veteran of the Month is Wayne E. “Bugsy” Christner.
Christner, 74, from Warsaw, was honored at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday March 1. He was given a plaque and a t-shirt, the latter bearing the name of the particular unit he was in in the United States. Army.
Kosciusko County Veterans Services Officer Darryl McDowell read a biography about Christner, which included the following information.
Christner, who resided in the county all his life, was born in Warsaw on July 31, 1947, to Raymond M. and Doris Jane (Meeder) Christner. Her late father was a WWII Navy veteran. He also has a sister, Sheri Lynne Krichbaum.
He graduated from Warsaw High School in 1965 and was drafted into the army on August 24, 1967 in Indianapolis. His basic training took place at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, followed by advanced military infantry combat training (AIT) and airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia.
He was assigned to Company H (Ranger), 75th Infantry (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Christner, a staff sergeant, received various awards for his service, including a Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving as a patrol leader on a long-range patrol while engaged in military operations with a hostile armed force in Vietnam.
He also received two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, two Army Commendations with “V” device, the Air Medal and Combat Infantry Badge, and the Campaign and Service Medals from Vietnam.
Christner was honorably discharged on August 11, 1969. He then returned to Warsaw and worked as a journeyman at the firm formerly known as RR Donnelley & Sons.
He retired after 48 years in 2013.
“I got a bunch of awards, but the real heroes never came back. That’s how I see it,” Christner told InkFreeNews before being honored on Tuesday.
Her friend Shelly Randall said: “He’s a hero.
Randall was one of many friends and family members of Christner who came forward for his recognition. Also present were his sister and his mother, the latter who will be 100 years old in a few weeks.
Those present at the reunion serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” before the family left.