Christian Michael Otto Regenhard was born on August 25, 1973. He was raised in Co-op City, Bronx, New York, and received his elementary education there. One of his earliest aspirations was to become a fire dog or a fire horse when he grew up, so the family was relieved when, in the second grade, his IQ was tested, and he scored a 146. After this, he was enrolled in a special program for Talented and Gifted children. Despite his natural abilities, he managed to graduate from The Bronx High School of Science by the skin of his teeth, having spent a large percentage of his time in Harris Field (a well-known field to the students for passing the time out of class).
Shortly after graduation in 1991, he and close friend Kyre Osborn embarked upon a three-month journey to Mexico and Central America. This was the beginning of a decade-long passion for Latin America's people, culture and language. One year later Christian surprised family and friends when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for five years.
Throughout his career in the Marines, Christian distinguished himself by excelling in everything that he undertook. He mastered a dozen specialized training courses, and was the recipient of twelve medals and awards for excellence.
His continuing travels took him from California to the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, China and Japan. He made a point of visiting the historical sites, zoos and museums of each country, and often brought back beautiful artwork, jewelry or stones for himself as well as family and friends.
After having attained the rank of Sergeant, Christian was discharged from the U.S.M.C. in August, 1997 after five years of honorable service. He then moved to San Francisco, and attended San Francisco State University. During this time, he studied art, language and writing, both in school and independently. While pursuing his love of rock climbing, he traveled throughout the United States as well as to South America, France and Spain.
During his extensive travels and adventures in 22 countries around the world, Christian encountered many brushes with catastrophes, including tornadoes, blizzards, and hostile situations. During it all, he remained invincible. He returned to New York City many times to visit family and friends and to take the New York City Fire Department test. This seemed to be the perfect job for Christian, where he could use his brains, brawn, love of adventure and commitment to helping people.
His family and friends truly never saw him happier. When you asked him if he liked the Fire Department of New York, he couldn't disguise that elusive smile that came over his face.
Once again, he was in love.
An article from the Daily News, 11 September 2016. Please click here for the pdf file.