Good-Bye Charlie

January 3, 1968

We wouldn’t need two cars with me being in Vietnam so we decided to sell the Ford Falcon.  Since Jenny would be at her parents’ house temporarily, we drove both cars to Glendale and put an AD in the local Pennysaver.  After thoroughly washing and vacuuming the Falcon, we had lunch with Jenny’s parents.  As always, Jenny’s Dad said grace while we held hands around the table.  It was an emotional moment for me, and I struggled to keep it together.  Jenny’s parents were very supportive, and I knew they would be there if needed.

After lunch we headed back to Orange County and stopped by Charlie’s apartment (unannounced) to say good-bye.  His enlistment was up soon, and he was moving back home to Twin Falls, Idaho.  As luck would have it, we arrived as Charlie was getting home.  He invited us in and showed off the new rifle he had purchased at the PX and talked about his plans for elk hunting in the fall.  We got his mailing address and hoped to stay in touch with him.

Charlie was one of the few stewards left in the Marine Corps.  The military occupation of “steward” was being disbanded , and the few who were still active were working as Generals’ staff.

We waved good-bye to Charlie as we headed back to Laguna.  He was more than a Best Man at our wedding . . . he was always upbeat and could find a way to make anyone smile.  We would miss him.

Next Edition:  The Final Hours


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