My Life, My Story #11: Charlie: I don’t want notoriety


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For our last episode of the first season of the “My Life, My Story” podcast, we decided to record the story of the oldest Veteran we’ve ever interviewed. “Charlie” was nearly 108 when his story was written in the spring 2020, which means he was old even for World War II Veterans. By the time he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, he was already 32.

There’s something about Charlie’s story that captures what our project is all about. His recall of events from 80 years ago is, of course, far from perfect. His version of events won’t be found in history books. His story is subjective, a little meandering.

But in about a thousand words, we learn enough about Charlie’s life – about his parents, his military service, his wife, and his career – to get an idea of what meant the most to him during his 108 years on this planet.

We hope to share more of these imperfect histories with you in future seasons of our podcast. From our stockpile of over 5,000 stories, we’ve still got tales from a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis to a Korean War POW, to Vets who have struck it rich or been thrown in prison. Some ponder the meaning of life. Others just want to tell you the incredible story of how they found true love.


Seth Jovaag is a writer, editor and producer for the My Life, My Story project.

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VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/