Christian Redman was known as a man who brought people together. His band of brothers knew him as a man who would offer his right arm if needed, a man who would give you the shirt off his back without question.
“You grow real close when you face what we were facing every day,” said retired Capt. Dan Schultz, of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, also known as the Blackhorse Regiment, who served with Redman in the 1980s.
Redman, 51, of Parker, died Oct. 5 of complications from the colon cancer he fiercely fought for three years. His friends say he was always a fighter — a trait instilled in him from a young age by his father, Command Master Chief David Redman, now retired from the Navy.
“They have this thing in them that they’re all fighters,” said Ron Meier, a close friend who, with Schultz and a crowd of family and friends, attended the Oct. 17 honor-guard ceremony for Redman at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Among those at the service were members of the Blackhorse Association, a tightly-knit group organized for veterans in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Ray Simpson, a Blackhorse veteran from Colorado Springs, first met Redman in March after offering to drive him to Key West as part of the association’s inaugural make-a-wish last ride.
Simpson didn’t know Redman, “but I didn’t have to,” he said. “I knew his brothers.”
“Fulfilling Christian’s last wish to ride his Harley in Florida during Bike Week and put his toes in the sand — although an ambitious last wish — was rewarding and humbling,” Rocky Cuda, a retired sergeant and president of the Florida chapter of the Blackhorse Regiment Cavalry Motorcycles, wrote in an email.
Cuda, Simpson and Redman connected on the Blackhorse Association Facebook page as Redman shared his battle with cancer. Cuda’s idea for a Blackhorse last ride became “Maverick’s Last Ride,” after Redman’s call sign from his Army days. Although it didn’t materialize as a cross-country caravan because of Redman’s medical condition, he was able to visit his daughter in Kentucky and get to Key West, Redman’s all-time happy place, accompanied by various Blackhorse veteran troopers along the way.
Meier and a number of Redman’s Parker friends, including Bob Nobles of Takoda Tavern, held a fundraiser and started a GoFundMe to help pay for expenses of the trip and Redman’s medical bills. People from across the Denver metro area and country contributed.
“It’s the culmination of a journey,” Meier said at Fort Logan. “It wasn’t a fun journey for him or his friends because he was a very proud man. He was a vivacious guy, the life-of-the-party guy, and to see that deteriorate was heartbreaking.”
For Redman, who was accustomed to being the problem-solver, the one organizing help and fundraisers for others, the reversal of roles was humbling. The generosity of strangers and friends touched him deeply.
“I am very blessed,” he said after a fundraiser in 2017 to help with his medical expenses.
Redman served in the Border Legion as 19D Scout of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He arrived in Fulda, Germany, as a Private First Class, where he met his commanding officer, Schulz, serving from 1986-89. The 11th Armored Cavalry was stationed at the front step of the Soviet Union and stood guard as the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
After four years in the Army, he began a career in law enforcement, eventually becoming chief of the City of Hurstbourne Acres Police Department in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He semi-retired to be with his family in Parker in 2014. There, he started and ran a construction company until his illness kept him from working.
Redman is survived by his father, his mother Jacquelyn, sisters Jennifer Redman Campbell and Susan Jeanette Redman, and his beloved daughter, Alexis Rae Redman.
“I’ve lived three lifetimes in one — I’ve stuffed everything in it,” Redman said during an interview in February. “The most important thing is my daughter is taken care of.”
— Ann Macari Healey contributed to this report.
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