Charles E. Anthony
E-5 Specialist
U. S. Army
Dates of Service: 01/06/1966 - 01/05/1968
Electrical Instructor

Charles was born in Dallas, Texas, to William and Gertrude Anthony. His father was a roofer, his mother a domestic worker. Charles recalls his parents as people of meager means. "My mother could take the cheapest meat and make it taste like gourmet," he says. He also recollects racial discrimination. "I remember mother saying, `When you get on the bus go to the back,'" he remembers. The Anthony house had electricity and gas, but no running water. His mother made lye soap and raised chickens. Charles worked after school. He earned money distributing sales papers for stores and caddying at a golf course. "If we made, say, two dollars we gave mother a dollar," he recalls. "Mother was sacred in those days. You always took care of your mother." Charles, an ROTC member in high school, graduated in 1962, then worked at several jobs and studied for two years at National Training Institute. Charles was drafted in November of 1965. He took basic training at Fort Polk, and planned his funeral with his mother before leaving for Vietnam. Charles flew to Saigon on a C-141 jet. Trained as an electrician, he worked in Vietnam on vehicles, earned $230 a month and sent an allotment to his mother. Charles says his unit suffered no casualties. He was based first at Cam Ranh Bay, and then at Qui Nhon. He served in Vietnam for one year and six days. After his discharge in 1968, Charles was working for Collins Radio in 1971 when Rockwell International bought the company. In 1987 he moved to Shreveport and continued working for Rockwell, which was purchased by Boeing. He retired in 2001. Charles has one son and four grandchildren.