|Birth: ||Mar. 5, 1948|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 7, 1970|
Quang Binh, Vietnam
SP4 Charles R Willard Jr, Vietnam Veteran and US Army Ranger, Native of Charlotte, NC.
Specialist Four Charles R Willard Jr was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army Selective Service and a Draftee, SP4 Willard served our country until January 7th, 1970 in Binh Dinh, South Vietnam. He was 21 years old and was not married. It was reported that Charles died from small arms fire or grenade. His body was recovered. Charles was born on March 5th, 1948 in Charlotte, North Carolina. SP4 Willard is on panel 14W, line 010 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for one year. He was a US Army Ranger.
Charles was a Ranger who was KIA on a Long Range Recon patrol, along with 2 other team members, LaRoy Roth and Mike Lyne. He was one of America's best who died way to young in a forgotten war. Rest in Peace! John Smith
To the loved ones we say; It may seem all for naught seeing how the world is today, but Charles then, as soldiers of today and all future soldiers, will continue to assure our Freedoms remain alive, and keep the hope alive for the many oppressed of the world. Thanks for standing strong all these many years with just his memory and know our hearts are joined with yours. May the peace of our Lord be with you always. Looking at two different picture of Charles I am able to see him as young soldier, very innocent at the beginning of his tour of duty in Vietnam. Then I see another one where he has grown beyond his age, into that of a much more mature person. I contribute this to the hardened combat he has already experience in just a few weeks, months at the most.
Charles came to Vietnam to contribute to the cause of Freedom. It was men like him that were ready to stand up to the bully on the block, those who would deprive others the right to choose how they will live. He came not to Vietnam to be known as a hero, but his very choice of units was a heroic act on his part and most likely unbeknownst to him. Back in the world he was a kind, loving, and gentle person. A good citizen, loving son, and loving brother always there for you. Now still the same person, but one that had been called to be different, different in that he volunteered to serve with one of the most dangerous units in the Vietnam war, The 75th Ranger Regiment. A Regiment full of men that chose to walk on the edge, for whatever reason. Perhaps to be different or to satisfy the challenge of the unknown. Regardless of motivation, Charles of his own accord, willing accepted the extraordinary risk to accomplish a vital function that would save the lives of hundreds of American soldiers and Allied Forces.
His part in this was done by working with three other men placed deep in enemy held territory. He and his team mates would spy on enemy activity and report it to higher command for use in planning larger operations. This information could be gotten no other way. It called for nerves and guts of steel due to the closeness of the enemy and the distance they usually were from any friendly help. They had to survive on skill, team work, communications, artillery, and gone ships.
Charles proved himself to be a team player and a fierce combatant when necessary, and he was still the loving, helpful, kind, person he was before all of this. He had a great personality and was loved by his peers and Officers of the unit. He gained many brothers and this brotherhood is still alive today. His person may be gone from us, but he lives in our hearts. Charles died with two of his team mates, La Roy Roth and Michael Lyne, while on patrol. They were securing their night location when the enemy sprung a surprise ambush on them, making a response slim to none. Charles and Rangers like him was and always will be the "TIP OF THE SPEAR". I think he would not have us to grieve for him, but rather Love and Honor the Freedom that he, and others like him fought and died for. He is a credit to his Family, Friends, and Country. Let us not forget this nor allow others to forget!
Lord, those who knew Charles are thankful you allowed them to be graced by his being among them. We his brothers of like spirit, a spirit that says all people, of all nations, should enjoy the right to live free and to choose for themselves, do also thank you. He stands out to us and the world as a symbol of the price of freedom. Your Word says; "no greater love hath a man than this, to give his life for a friend" Charles did just that! He forsook self-preservation for others to live. He acted out of love, a love that required no contemplation, but rather action. Surely it never crossed his mind at the moment that he would come to be known as a "HERO". We thank you for men and women like our brother that thought it not too much to give his life for others to live. Lord, this day give comfort to those loved ones that have been all these years without him. Help them to know he is at rest with you and "Warriors" of like kind. May we never forget, that the blood of others bought our Freedoms. Lord, regardless of our belief, help us as we remember him and the many like him to consider the following words of wisdom; to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength, and secondly to love our neighbor as our self. Truly acceptance and application of this wisdom by all people of the world, is to see war and all other atrocities against humanity end! May our hearts be charged to honor the sacrifices of such men and women with a continuous and sincere effort to promote peace on earth and good will towards all. Bob Smyers, Brother Ranger.
He served with Kilo Company, 75th Infantry Regiment(Rangers), 4th Infantry Division, USARV.
He was awarded The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal.
North Carolina, USA
Plot: Sect. #2, Lot # 71, Grave # 2
Created by: Tom Reece
Record added: Feb 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17803654