Wayne Thomas Gilchrest represented the 1st congressional district of Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1991-2009. During his tenure in Congress, Wayne emerged as a strong voice for fiscal responsibility and environmental protection. His consistent support for reducing federal spending and eliminating the deficit won him accolades from many taxpayer watchdog groups. He also has dedicated his attention to protecting and preserving the delicate environment of the Chesapeake Bay region and to enhance and encourage economic development within the 1st District of Maryland to improve the quality of life.
Gilchrest was born in Rahway, New Jersey on April 15, 1946. After graduating high school in 1964, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. His tour of duty saw action during the invasion of the Dominican Republic, and ultimately the Vietnam War. He earned the rank of Sergeant in Vietnam where, as a platoon leader, he was wounded in the chest. Wayne was decorated with the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Navy Commendation Medal. Today he is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Military Order of the Purple Heart.
In 1969, he studied liberal arts at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, where he received an associate degree. He then spent a semester in Kentucky studying rural poverty in Appalachia. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in history from Delaware State College in 1973. Since then, he has done some work towards a master’s degree at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.