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For Charlie Brown from the Men of C 3/22

By Patrick Shine

  Last Tuesday, October 15th, Charlie Brown was honored in a beautiful and moving ceremony at Brookside Funeral Home, and then interred in the last bunker he will ever have to be in at Brookside Memorial Cemetery.
   He received a warm, glowing, fitting service and was well represented by his Charlie Company 3/22 brothers.
   Chuck Boyle, Jim Asher, Greg Hall, and I helped lay him to rest in that final bunker, and he will lie in eternity with some medals we left with him. Chuck proudly took off his CIB and placed it on top of the coffin, and more than anything else we could have put there, I believe that will appropriately give Charlie some closure, as it would for all of us.

   Chuck was his usual fantastic self with his warm and honorable tribute  during the funeral service and the gravesite/flag folding ceremony.  

   Charlie Brown had a soldier's goodbye and his friends and acquaintances were left with no doubt of how much he had done for his country, lo these many years ago, if, indeed, they ever had any. Chuck made sure of that.

   It was an honor to be there, to say goodbye to our friend and brother, and also to help in some way to give comfort to his wonderful wife, Sharon, along with the rest of his remarkable, grieving family. You could literally feel the appreciation they extended toward us, and I will never forget it.  There could be no doubt that Charlie had told them how he felt about the men of Charlie Company, but we already knew that.

   As Pastor Emerson said, "He was a precious man..." and we already knew that too.
   The man could damn well handle a M-79 also.  Whether Agent Orange was the reason his body was ravaged by cancer or not, we may never know.  What I do realize, however, is that Charlie lived long enough after his walk in the darkness thirty-four years ago to accumulate the love and respect of many, young and old.  When taps becomes the final melody for each and everyone of us, no greater accomplishment can be obtained that what Charlie had.

   Merry Christmas Charlie.



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