A Vietnam veteran, Duncan Hunter served in the 173rd Airborne and 75th Army Rangers and, after coming home, utilized the G.I. Bill to attend Western State University Law School in San Diego (now Thomas Jefferson School of Law). While completing his degree, Hunter supplemented his income by working in farming and construction, and opened a storefront legal office after graduation where he began serving many in the Hispanic community, often without compensation.
In 1980, Hunter was asked to mount a challenge for the Congressional seat held by 18-year incumbent Lionel Van Deerlin. Despite the district having a 2-to-1 Democrat registration, Hunter won the seat in an upset. Coming to Washington, Hunter successfully sought a seat on the House Armed Services Committee where he could work on America's national security needs. Serving on this committee throughout his career, Hunter became Chairman of the full committee in 2002, overseeing a $532 billion defense budget. During his chairmanship from 2002-2006, and now as Ranking Member of the committee, Hunter focuses his efforts on providing President Bush with the necessary resources to win our nation's military conflicts, protecting our men and women in uniform, and developing modernization initiatives that will move new and more effective technologies into the field of battle.
Living in a border community, Hunter also came to Congress to make securing the California-Mexico border a top priority. Hunter's goal was to make the region safe for communities on both sides of the border by providing the necessary resources to our border enforcement agencies. September 11th, however, made border security a national security issue and Hunter responded by leading efforts in Congress to seal a porous border susceptible to illegal aliens, drug trafficking and terrorism. Hunter's efforts have resulted in over 59 miles of fencing and border infrastructure to date in San Diego County. Hunter also wrote the Secure Fence Act, extending the San Diego fence 854 miles across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. These fence provisions were signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2006.
On the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter has protected U.S. defense jobs in aircraft, ship repair, machine tools, textile, steel and titanium to ensure that what he calls the "Arsenal of Democracy," the U.S. industrial base, is maintained to provide security in time of war. Hunter's other legislative priorities include retaining and increasing jobs across this nation, providing tax relief to hard-working families, keeping our promises to America's veterans, protecting Social Security for present and future generations, and promoting strong family values.
Hunter resides in East San Diego County with his wife Lynne where they, like many of their neighbors, just completed re-building their Alpine home after it was lost in the October 2003 wildfires. In 2006, Duncan and Lynne celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary; they have two sons, Duncan Duane, who served two tours in Iraq in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Sam Hunter, a business student at San Diego State University. Duncan D. and his wife, Margaret, have three children, Duncan Lee, Elizabeth Grace and Sarah Louise, and reside in Boise, Idaho. Sam was married on Valentine's Day 2004 to the former Theresa Heger of Jamul and they had their first child, Marin, in October of 2006.