View Full Version : welcome home

04-30-2005, 08:31
hope I put this in the right section
article from the local paper
Godspeed and blue skies

As you read this, taps may be playing over Charlie Lindewald's remains.

The LaPorte native and Green Beret soldier was to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C., this morning.

More than 37 years after his death in Vietnam.

"Charlie was serving his fifth tour in Vietnam, and some relatives have said he seemed to have a premonition that he might not be coming back," said Mary Perez, a Michigan City nurse and Charlie's younger sister.

He died on Feb. 7, 1968, during the Battle of Lang Vei near the Laotian border.

Over the years, Perez has learned a great deal about this bloody fight.

"It was a fairly significant battle because it was the first time that North Vietnam used tanks," Perez said earlier this week. "Charlie, a master sergeant, was out on the perimeter with another soldier, Kenneth Hanna.

"Charlie was wounded, and Hanna pulled him into a bunker. The bunker then took a direct hit and collapsed."

Although both Lindewald and Hanna were listed as missing in action, they were presumed dead.

"We always wondered if he might still be alive -- maybe as a POW -- but that seemed very remote as the years went by," Perez added.

Their bodies were never found -- until September 2003, when scavengers uncovered both men's remains.

DNA tests didn't confirm the remains were those of Lindewald and Hanna until a year later.

"I received the call in November of 2004," Perez said. "It was startling news, but it did close a gap in my life."

After all those years.

Lindewald's and Hanna's remains were to be buried with full military honors this morning alongside other brave soldiers and sailors.

"There will be a casket with Charlie's identifiable remains and then a casket for the joint remains of him and Hanna," Perez said. "Hanna's family has already buried his identifiable remains back in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C."

Perez was to be at Arlington today with other relatives, including cousin Mary McDermott, of South Bend. A few members of his Special Forces unit also will be there. Perez's parents have long been deceased along with a middle brother, Tom.

"My three grown children are going, too," Perez said earlier in the week.

Her son, Stephen Bradshaw, recently served with the Army in Iraq.

"Although Stephen never met his uncle, he said he sometimes felt his presence, feeling that Charlie was watching over him," Perez said.

Charlie Lindewald would make a good guardian angel. He certainly was a courageous soldier -- earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts during his tours of duty. He was 29 years old when he died.

"He came home after one of his tours and bought me my first bike," said Perez, now 54 and born 12 years after her brother. "Then he taught me how to ride it."

Mary McDermott, a South Bend schoolteacher, can still visualize her cousin in his uniform. "He was so handsome in it, and I know he was the kind of soldier you wanted on your side."

The family again will share hugs and shed tears today as they did on March 19 when local veteran groups honored Lindewald with a ceremony in LaPorte.

"I am just so touched by all the support that the veterans have given us and how dedicated and committed they have been in wanting to honor Charlie in the proper way," Perez said.

It has been a long time coming.

More than 37 years.

But on this morning, American hero Charlie Lindewald is finally where he belongs.

04-30-2005, 11:03
"They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old

Age will not worry them
nor time condemn

But at the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them..."

Team Sergeant
04-30-2005, 12:22
hope I put this in the right section

You got it right Floyd.

Blue Skies and welcome home.

05-11-2005, 01:54
I originally wanted to copy an older thread to this one. Messed it up a bit.


Radar Rider
05-11-2005, 07:11
I'm glad that he is finally home.

I watched the story of Lang Vei on the military channel, and have been reading about it. It's amazing what those few men did against the NVA tanks.

Rest In Peace, Warrior. Welcome home.