USMC, Combat-Disabled Veteran
Charlie McCarty is a combat-decorated and combat-disabled veteran from the Vietnam War. Charlie volunteered to join the United States Marine Corps in December 1966. He proudly served in Company M, Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines. Charlie served as a combat Marine during the height of the Vietnam War for 13 months from September 1967 to October 1968.
During his 13 months as a combat Marine, Charlie served time at Hill 881 South, Khe Sanh, Vietnam. During a battle on April 14, 1968, Charlie received life-long wounds while trying to protect fellow Marines from an enemy hand grenade. Despite his many wounds, Charlie returned to his unit. On July 10, 1968 Charlie volunteered for a seven man reconnaissance patrol searching for routes of approach of the North Vietnamese Army. During this operation, Charlie’s actions in defense of his patrol, won him the Navy Commendation Medal for Heroism in Combat from the Secretary of the Navy.
"By his courage, bold initiative, and steadfast devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal McCarty inspired all who observed him and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
Citation from the Secretary of the Navy in presenting the Navy Commendation Medal.
Charlie finished his tour of duty and received an Honorable Discharge in June 1969. During Charlie’s combat service he earned the following awards:
• Navy Commendation Medal for Heroism in Combat
• Purple Heart Medal
• Combat Action Ribbon
• National Defense Service Medal
• Vietnam Service Medal—Vietnam Campaign Medal
• Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross
• Republic of Vietnam Civil Action 2C Medal
• Presidential Unit Citation—Awarded by President Johnson for units who saw action at Khe Sanh
• Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
• Missouri—Vietnam Service Medal
In recent years, Charlie has been involved in teaching U.S. Army soldiers electrical theory and proper procedures to be used when setting up generators to power T.O.C.s (Tactical Operation Centers). Charlie’s classes have been at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and Ft. Hood, Texas.
In March 2015, Charlie reunites with his Marine Corps brothers for the first time since he last saw them in Vietnam in 1968.
Charlie's hard work and dedication to the cause of helping returning Veterans has been featured in two publications.
• St. Louis Business Journal
• Construction Digest (PDF)