Thursday, November 3, 2011

Proud Patriotic Veteran

Army veteran Charles Hardway lives a quiet, serene life in Roxana, IL these days, but patriotic flags still decorate his front door as a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by our country's devoted military. "I keep the flags on my front door in memory of all the veterans," Hardway, 73, said. "They are still very close to my heart." He was drafted into the Army in1956, where he served for two years in active duty. "I served in Korea in 1957," he said. "I spent 13 months there." After completing active duty, Hardway served with the 936th Army Reserve Unit until 1984. Completing a nearly 40-year career, Hardway retired as sergeant first class. While proud to serve in Korea, Hardway said he was fortunate to have missed being sent to Vietnam by something as simple as a flip of the coin. "One unit went, and one unit stayed," he said. "Mine was the unit that stayed." By the time Desert Storm came around, he was on disability and no longer able to serve actively. But he made sure anyone driving past his home knew just where his heart was by the reminders of the military decorating the outside of his home. Hardway said he thinks the military still is an important part of the American landscape, and is vital to protecting the nation and instilling values in young people. "I think joining the reserves is a great idea for young people," he said. "I learned a lot from my years (in the military), and I have met a lot of different people from all over."

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