Did You Know Sgt. Charlie Cartwright?

15 11 2009

0009Marine-Corps-FlagAs a school assignment to do a Veteran’s Day blog, I was Googling “Marine surfers” and happened across the Camp Pendleton Surf Club.  As I read the latest post entered on the www.cpsurfclub.com today (November 14), my heart ached.

The reality sunk in.   The violence of a war 180 degrees from San Clemente came into our living room through the mention of Sgt. Charlie Cartwright, a surf brother. 

See, the posting said that Sgt. Cartwright died on November 7 while supporting Marines in combat in Afghanistan.   This was his fourth, and last, tour of duty in the Middle East.

I never met Sgt. Cartwright, but I wish I had.  According to Ted Handler, as posted by Steve on cpsurfclub.com, Sgt. Cartwright was “one of the truly good guys out there and unlike us — he could no shit surf.”  Being stationed at Camp Pendleton, Sgt. Cartwright surfed the local beaches.  That brought it home that Sgt. Cartwright may well have been a member of our own Trestles Surf Crowd.  Fittingly, there was a paddleout at Church on Veteran’s Day for Sgt. Cartwright.  And, he sounds like a great guy–wish I had met him.

Here’s a link to Sgt. Cartwright’s bio — http://freedomremembered.com/index.php/sgt-charles-i-cartwright/.

What amazes me is that Sgt. Cartwright signed up for the Marines on September 10, 2001, the day before the Twin Towers attack.    It sounds like he always wanted to be a United States Marine.  His sense of duty on our behalf started from when he was just a boy.  No matter how one feels about our involvement in other countries’ battles, you can’t help but admire our brothers and sisters who raise their hands to stand in the gap between our safety and the enemy.

Reading about Sgt. Cartwright reminded me once again how we take our privileged lives for granted while heroes like him face the reality of not knowing if they will be returning home.

Sgt. Cartwright, we salute you and thank you!  Semper Fi   . . .   and Hang Ten!




2 responses

14 07 2010
Ken Eyler

I knew Charlie. He was my cousin. He told me he was enlisting when he was in my wedding in july of ’01. There’s no way you wouldn’t have liked him. He was just one of those people.

23 05 2012

I grew up with charlie. Our dads worked together, amd when they did, theyd bring us along and leave us in the woods with a rifle. Mind you, we were probably 12 or so. Charlie was a hell of of a guy. Didnt see him much after he enlisted, and am poorer for it

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