April 2018: Charles Lee Kennedy
US Navy, Operation Desert Storm
Born on April 23, 1960 in Houston, Texas, Charles Lee Kennedy enlisted in the United States Navy at AFEES in Richmond, Virginia, after graduating from Liberty High School in Bedford, Virginia. He saw the world from his various duty stations: USS MIDWAY (CV-41), USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70), USS NIMITZ (CVN-68), USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72), and the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65). He worked in one of the world’s most dangerous jobs – the flight deck of aircraft carriers – where he served as both Fly Deck and Crash and Salvage Leading Petty Officer. Looking for a change, he jumped on an opportunity to change ratings to a less dangerous job – Master at Arms. Charles fought in Operation Desert Storm (also known as The First Gulf War) , Operation Praying Mantis (the retaliation for Iranian mine-laying operations that resulted in damage to and death aboard USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58), and Operation Earnest Will (the escort and protection of tankers in the Persian Gulf).
For his exemplary service he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal (2), Navy Unit Commendation (2), Meritorious Unit Commendation (2), Battle “E” (4), Good Conduct Medal (5), National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (3), Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (9), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Overseas Service Ribbon, Navy Expert Rifle Marksmanship Medal, Navy Expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal, and the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist Breast Insignia. Charles loved the time he spent in the Navy and comes from a patriotic heritage – his father served four years in the Marine Corps.
After retiring from the Navy in August of 2003, he spent twelve years at the Memphis Airport as a dispatcher for their in-house police force. In 2008 he opened his own business in Burlison, CK’s Home and Office Maintenance, which has earned numerous high ratings from Home Advisor and the Better Business Bureau.
Charles and his wife Donna live in Burlison and are members of Beaver Baptist Church. Charles’ stepson and two grandchildren live in Germantown. He leads a men’s outreach basketball ministry on Monday nights.
He was nominated for Veteran of the Month by his niece Angie Childers.