Korean War veteran talks about his service and life after the war

Charles Howard enlisted in the Army in 1952.

Charles Howard enlisted in the Army in 1952.

"Two of my buddies got drafted so I just decided to go with them," Mr. Howard said.

Mr. Howard is the son of a combat veteran. His father fought in World War I. Charles Howard was sent to Virginia to train as an engineer.

"I come back on a week's vacation in Rockwood and got on a train in Rockwood and rode it all the way to Seattle, Washington," Mr. Howard said. "We rode a ship over seas, and we landed in Incheon, Korea."

They sent him to Wonju, Korea. He was a fire chief at an airfield.

"Every other night, they called him bed check Charlie, he'd come down in that little old plane and he sputtering and going on and he'd throw a bomb out," Mr. Howard said.

He was there until the war ended in 1954.

"When I came home it didn't seem like people were interested in nothing," Mr. Howard said.

He said he wasn't mistreated in any way, but that people just didn't much care to talk about what he'd been through. After the war he came back home to East Tennessee.

"A friend of mine had a grocery store there in Rockwood, and he came to Chattanooga to get some produce," Mr. Howard said. "His car breaks down at Soddy at the Soddy Motor Company."

He came down and fixed his friend's car. The man who owned the garage gave him a job.

Mr. Howard said that he has "been here ever since."

He's done a lot of things since then worked in law enforcement. He was a building inspector. He helped start a rescue squad, and he worked in animal control. Charles Howard is now 86 years old.

Mr. Howard says he was married in 1956. He has four daughters, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

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