Christian's skin is fair but becomes a bit tan by the end of summer. His wavy hair is an uneventful brown though his beard has a slightly reddish tint to it. His light blue eyes are the most notable feature of what would be a defined face if it wasn't for the short beard that usually covers it.
He stands at 6' 1" and has the physique of someone that views lifting as a hobby rather than just part of staying healthy. About sixty percent of his left shoulder blade is covered with shrapnel scars.
His attire lacks variety. It primarily consists of jeans, t-shirts, flannels, and henleys. There is only one suit in his closet and it makes appearances at weddings and funerals. Even his few dress shirts and slacks are almost never worn unless he somehow gets roped into going somewhere nice.
Christian is laidback and casual most of the time. He could be in a packed bar or one on one in a coffee shop — both situations will see the same guy. Friendly but not outgoing, Christian does his best to go with the flow and keep things comfortable.
It's easy to misinterpret his relaxed demeanor as uncaring or uninterested. He considers that assessment unfair, but it's true that he doesn't care about plenty that others do. He walks away from most drama and has a tendency to think of others as petty for being unable to do the same. That said, if Christian doesn't walk away, he is likely to get himself into trouble.
Christian is the sort of man that works hard where he is in life but is unlikely to pursue dreams. He is wary of taking risks with his future and often strives for happiness wherever he finds himself rather than constantly wanting more. This outlook is consistent with the little things of life as well. Christian is as happy to follow the pastime suggestions of others as he is to suggest something.
It makes him a good fit for strong personalities. They will have a buddy to tag along and keep them company regardless of the activity. Assuming it isn't uppity and fancy, of course. Fishing, kayaking, hunting, skydiving, hiking, sports, skiing, or anything like those things? He'll be right alongside. A multi-course meal while listening to a quartet? Not so much.
There is a lot to be said for a laidback personality. But it has its faults. Christian won't tell you what is bothering him. He will try to hide most of himself from your sight. It is not uncommon for friends of years to realize they don't know much about him. And like many reserved people, when the surface breaks it breaks with a fury.
Christian was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire to James and Grace Rockwell. The couple was unable to have more children despite their best efforts, so Christian grew up an only child. James Rockwell was a woodworker by trade but went through extended periods of time where he had to go into general construction to make ends meet. Grace was an elementary schoolteacher and semi-professional painter. Both of Christian's parents had their creative passions that helped instill in him an admiration for working with one's hands and the so-called 'simple things' in life.
Both James and Grace came from devout Methodist families. They lapsed in adulthood as their spirituality became personal and ethical rather than public. As such, Christian was raised with concepts of God and faith mentioned periodically but left to whatever path he chose.
Their lack of public faith did not stop the Rockwells from being involved in their local community. Grace participated in local conservation groups and art scenes while James was an avid hunter and taught woodworking workshops. They were people that believed you find your path and sense of meaning in the world.
Christian's early years were uneventful. He did all the standard things one did in his community: play sports, tag along on hunting trips, go fishing, tease girls. His grades were high C's and low B's throughout all his education. The only activity he excelled at was baseball. By the time Christian was a junior in high school, baseball and Katie maintained all his attention.
Katie Moore was Christian's high school sweetheart. They met in middle school when Katie's family moved to town. They lived a short thirty-minute bike ride apart and quickly became inseparable. In those early years, they were akin to surrogate siblings. Both had grown up as only children and discovered the fun and comfort of having companionship day in and day out.
As a freshman in high school, Christian began his male education and started to drift away from Katie. You were supposed to be friends with your teammates. Girls were there to hit on. Unfortunately, Christian was impressionable, and his ego as the only freshman on the varsity baseball team propelled him down the path his friends were pushing.
It took a couple of years for Christian to change his behavior. During that time it was baseball, party, repeat. At the beginning of his junior year, Christian looked around and realized most of his teammates were starting to have steady girlfriends. They would show up to games, be at the same parties, and be around on lazy Sundays. Someone invited Katie to one of those lazy Sundays.
She seemed different. Or Christian's perception of her was different. He asked her to a movie and the rest, as they say, is history. There's no question that he was still a jock and still a one-track mind. But the person he had become fit well with the person Katie had become and they developed into a genuine relationship.
Christian's junior and senior years would be the height of his baseball career. Much to his and his coaches' surprise, he did not garner any full scholarships to college. There were several partial athletic scholarships, but no major universities offered a full ride. His parents couldn't afford to give much financial help, and the idea of going into serious debt to play baseball did not sit well with Christian or his parents. He made the decision to leave baseball in the past and move on with his life. He's only looked back and thought about that decision a couple of times a day since.
There were no plans for his future other than the sport he loved. Christian spent the first year after high school floundering, trying to figure out what to do with his life as Katie started community college. He decided to join the army. If Uncle Sam were paying for college, he would be willing to go.
As it turned out, Christian's personality worked well within a military structure. He was easygoing, confident, and handled authority well. Katie committed to the relationship despite finding herself the girlfriend of a soldier. Since they were not married, the relationship immediately became long distance, consisting of driving for a day to visit the next day before driving away again. Katie made the decision to put her education on hold and moved into a studio apartment close to Fort Stewart where Christian was stationed. Christian's first deployment for the 2003 invasion of Iraq nearly pushed the relationship past the breaking point. He deployed to Iraq four months after being stationed and only two months after Katie had moved down to be close to him.
The 3rd Infantry Division returned nine months later, and Christian wasted little time in proposing. Katie said yes, and they started the process of building a life together while trying to rebuild their relationship. Sixteen months later, the 3rd redeployed to Iraq — this time for a year. It wasn't any easier the second time around. New love and the 'honeymoon' stage may make the sixteen months home excellent, but a year in a war zone changes the way your loved ones move around in the world. Everywhere Katie looked, there was news of casualties and the failures of the occupation.
To cope with the fear, loneliness, and helplessness, Katie started spending lots of time with a different circle of army wives than before. There were a lot of bars, a lot of clubs, a lot of partying — almost as if they were trying to convince themselves that they were typical twenty-somethings. On January 2, 2006, two weeks before Christian's deployment would end, Katie was killed in a car accident coming home from a club.
Christian's year in the states that time around was a blur. He earned emergency leave after returning home. The beginning of it was spent with funeral arrangements. The rest was spent drunk. After his leave had expired, Christian met up with the rest of his regiment at their new orders at Fort Benning. He had already started morphing into the guarded and reserved person he would become. Each deployment had changed him a bit more. Katie's death was the final drop in the bucket.
The 3rd redeployed to Iraq for the third time in January 2007. It was his first time deploying as an E-7. Leadership responsibilities, even if it was only forty men looking to him for direction, changed the way Christian viewed the world. The burden of making life and death decisions for others left an impression on him that has never left. It has made him more cautious and slower to let others close.
Christian's third deployment would be his last. Ten months in, his platoon was sent to quell resistance in the western Baghdad Belts. Their intelligence had been incorrect, and the entire operation turned into a clusterfuck. Only four of Christian's forty survived. Those remaining four and their sergeant were evacuated as casualties when reinforcements came to contain the situation. Christian suffered a broken shoulder and arm, a gunshot wound to his stomach, and considerable shrapnel damage on his shoulder blade. His injuries allowed Christian to get out of the army after he finished recovering in the hospital. If it weren't for that, he would have been stop-lossed.
Christian kept his life simple after his initial recovery from surgery. He started a construction management degree at CCSU and devoted all his time to college and fitness. Other than a few periods of heavy drinking and reclusiveness, Christian became just another post-military college student. He worked for a local contractor during the day and went to school at night. He wasn't sure why he was even seeking a degree other than the fact that the Army was paying for it.
New Hampshire began to feel daunting to Christian, and he only visited a few times a year while in college in Connecticut. The attention and questions about his service and recovery, not to mention Katie's death, were enough to keep him away from his hometown. After his mother had suggested he seek out help for PTSD, Christian started going home only twice a year. Once for a hunting trip with his father and his friends, once for Christmas.
Four years later, Christian had a B.S. in Construction Management and much experience working for a reputable contractor. He was twenty-six years old and started saving money while continuing to work for the same person he had while going to school. The next seven years passed peacefully except for a few bouts with depression and alcohol abuse.
It may seem dreary, four years of college and work followed by seven more years of only work. But that is how Christian wanted it. He didn't date, travel, or do much of anything but work and save money. It was a time in his life where he overvalued structure. Strict nutrition, fitness routine, sleep schedule, budget, and so on. The periods of time where the structured life failed are times Christian pretends didn't happen.
In January of 2017, Christian bought his first home in the town of Lochland Grove. He left his job of eleven years to start his own business as an independent contractor. It felt like something of a new start. Years had passed since all the chaos and loss. His hard work and saving had given him the opportunity to start his own business. It seemed like the right time to settle down and build a life.
‣ Working with his hands.
‣ Chevy trucks.
‣ Fitness lifestyle.
‣ Being useful.
‣ Beer and wine.
‣ Unnecessary drama.
‣ Spicy food.
‣ Fancy events.
‣ Talking about his time in the Army.
‣ Small cars.
‣ Poor quality equipment.
‣ People not minding their own business.
‣ 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD for work.
‣ 2017 Chevrolet Colorado Midnight for everyday, personal use.
‣ Lexi, a four-year-old golden retriever.
Father ‣ James Rockwell, born 1951 — woodworker/contractor.
Mother ‣ Grace Rockwell, born 1959 — schoolteacher/painter.
Wife (deceased) ‣ Katie Rockwell, born 1984 — administrative assistant.