2021 Veterans Day Special Section: Charles Boies
For this year's Veterans Day special insert, we asked that you tell us your story of service, or the story of your loved one who served.
This year, we are proud to share 17 of those stories, with both images and words telling us all about some of the fine Whatcom County residents past and present who served our country.
This is one of those stories. Meet Charles Boies.
Branch: US Navy
Rank: Petty Officer 3rd Class
Medals/Commendations: Navy Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing V; Army Commendation Medal; Combat Action; National Defense Ribbon; Viet Nam Service with three campaign stars; NCO Professional Development (3); Army Service Ribbon; Viet Nam Campaign Ribbon with device (1960-); Good Conduct with cluster; Washington National Guard Emergency Service; and National Guard Service with two clusters.
In 1964, I arrived with my parents to start my junior year at Ferndale High School. Graduated in 1967 and went to college for two years.
The draft was after me, so I joined the US Navy in 1969, went to boot camp in San Diego, California. Then on to NTS Great Lakes for Naval Engineering Training, Mare Island, California for Naval in shore operations training. Then off to Coronado, California for assault boat training, then finally Camp Pendleton, California for Weapons training.
My first working station was NSA Da Nang, Republic of Viet Nam. My duties were assault boat crewman on a combat salvage crew that worked with Navy divers and SEAL teams. From Da Dang to the DMZ.
This assignment was for one year.
November 1971, I went to San Diego for AC & Refrigeration School.
Then assigned to the USS Sacramento AOE-1 Home P. Bremerton, Washington We were in dry dock all winter and then deployed to Yankee Station in the south China Sea for eight months. We were the supply ship for the carrier task forces. My job was maintenance of AC & R, diesel boats, galley equipment, and laundry equipment. This was two years duty.
I was discharged in November 1973. Joined the Navy reserve in Bellingham; this duty lasted three years and I attained rank First Class P.O. (E-6).
Then transferred to Washington Army Nat Guard, 286 Engineers Bellingham. A few years later, I became the Bridge Platoon Sgt. (E-7). We were activated in the floods of 1990 and 1991. After a few years, I became the 1st Sergeant 286 Engineer, while making ready for deployment to Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm.
After Saddam Hussein was defeated a year later, I retired from the military with 23 years of service.