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The Hero Next Door


“I joined the Army for two reasons," says veteran Charles Murray. "I was influenced by my brother who served in the Korean War, and I needed something to keep me out of trouble.”

Murray, who lives in Dublin, Ohio, served in the U.S Army for 33 years in Georgia, France, Thailand, and elsewhere. "I was fortunate enough to work with great people, see great places, and have great experiences," he says.

With Veterans Day (November 11) approaching, I wanted to interview Murray, who is my neighbor, to learn more about his experiences in the Armed Forces and to honor his service.


One of Murray’s favorite assignments was in Stuttgart, Germany, where he was Post Seargent Major at Patch Barracks. He got to work with 13 Generals, four stars and down. He got to see places like Austria and Switzerland with his family. “It was a great experience working with the people of the country and the German Army,” he adds.

Murray now spends his time at The Woodworker’s Club of Central Ohio and working for Honor Flight Columbus, a nonprofit group that gives World War II and Korean War veterans a chance to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C., at no cost to them. This is the organization's 9th year, and so far they have conducted 72 flights, benefitting 4,100 veterans. Murray has been on 51 of those flights.

Murray has many great memories of his service, but he also risked his life in dangerous situations, including in the Vietnam War. He vividly recalls the challenges.

“While in Vietnam, each soldier was given a calendar when he reached 90 days," Murray says. "Every day, he’d put an 'X' through that box because he’d never have to live that day again. Just work for a better tomorrow. That’s how I try to live my life."

Veterans Day is a holiday to honor people like Charles Murray—the people who fought for a better tomorrow for all of us.





Photo by Sgt. Eric D. Warren