David McCracken grew up in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He was the son of a Korean War veteran and a homemaker. As a child, David loved school and was highly intelligent. He went on to be an industrial hygienist and his love for the military drove him to enlist in the Army.
David and Tammy were married for 16 years and met while working at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. According to his wife Tammy, David was always fit and lean. He was an avid weightlifter and runner before he left for his tour in Iraq. When David returned from Baghdad in 2009, he developed a dry cough. The cough persisted and soon headaches began plaguing him. His situation worsened as he started to develop cognitive issues, disorientation, and confusion. In 2011, doctors discovered an aggressive brain tumor. He was only 46.
David passed within a few months of the tumor’s discovery. He is survived by his wife and three young children. Tammy suspects that David’s exposure to burn pits caused his tumor. David was stationed at the same base and time frame as Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden. Both men developed glioblastoma multiforme, a lethal form of brain cancer.