Jan 2018: Charles Joseph Raggo,
US Navy, Korea 1951 – 1954 / Vietnam 1957-1976
Our Veteran of the Month for January 2018 is Charles Joseph Raggo. Please join us for a reception in his honor on Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. Born on September 19, 1933, in Arcadia, Missouri, Charles Joseph Raggo enlisted in the United States Navy in 1951 at age 17 shortly after completing high school. During the Korean War, he served as a Third Class Machine Repairman with Boat Unit One based at Camp McGill, Japan. He was honorably discharged in June 1954 and used his G.I. bill to attend trade school to study diesel and engine mechanics. As a private citizen he enjoyed his job at a machine shop in Phoenix, Arizona; but he didn’t remain a private citizen for long. He moved back to Missouri in 1957 and reenlisted in the Navy. For the next three years he served as a machine repairman aboard the USS BETELGEUSE (AK-260) then the USS CADMUS (AR-14). In 1963 he was transferred to Machine Repairman B School in San Diego, California. After completing school he spent several years aboard the USS VULCAN (AR-5) and the USS ALTAIR (AKS-32). During that time he was assigned two separate three-month temporary tours of duty in Ethiopia as an advisor to Emperor Haile Selassie’s grandson Prince Alexander Desta.
In February of 1968, he was transferred to Vietnam where he spent a year as a maintenance officer for the River Division. In 1969 he was transferred to Service School Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, as head of Engineman School, before heading off to Naples, Italy in 1971 for three years. In July of 1974, he accepted his final set of orders to Naval Air Station Millington as a Discipline Officer.
Chuck’s numerous medals and ribbons include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal with three Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device.
After his retirement from the Navy in 1976, he returned to Missouri and worked in the mines for two years before enjoying a prosperous career with General Electric. In 1983 he accepted a job teaching vocational education at the VoTech School. He and his wife Mary celebrated 50 years of marriage in October of 2005, but sadly she passed away from cancer in May 2006. In 2008 he moved to Brighton and married Faye, who had lost her husband. Chuck is a member of the Tipton County Veterans Council and has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for over 40 years. When not traveling the country visiting family, old shipmates, and friends, he and Faye attend Holly Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
He was nominated for Veteran of the Month by H.T. Ray.