Friday, May 2, 2014

Farewell to Our Friend: Charles Wilson

Written by Anita Foster, Regional Chief Communications Officer, on behalf of every Red Cross worker who ever met Charles Wilson

When "Taps" began to play and those haunting bugle notes hung in the air at DFW National Cemetary this morning, our eyes teared up and our hearts broke. Saying good-bye to a friend is never easy. Saying good-bye to a true hero is almost impossible. And that's what Charles Wilson was to us - our friend and our hero.

He was an unassuming man with the kindest smile and an even kinder heart, which made him perfect to serve his country, his employer; and after retirement, his neighbors in need near and far.

Charles spent 11 years serving in the United States Air Force. From there he went to work for TCU. When he retired in 2004, he was at a loss for what to do next so he came knocking on our door at the American Red Cross. For the next nine years, he became a staple in our daily lives.

Charles Wilson on assignment in Mississippi
We sent him to more than 40 national disasters and more local disasters than we can count. We asked him to clean out warehouses, catch tumbleweeds in our parking lot, scrub, gather, tote and carry things. We asked him for his advice and counsel almost daily. And from us, Charles asked for nothing except the opportunity to serve whenever and wherever he could.

His compassion and true love for people shined right through him. When someone was out on their curb, scared and confused after a disaster big or small, Charles could talk to them and within minutes, you would hear laughter and see the hugs going out.

He was truly remarkable. There aren't adequate words to express how much we're going to miss Charles. For now, we'll just do our best to follow in his footsteps and remember him as the man with the kindest smile with an even kinder heart. Rest in peace our dear friend.

--Your American Red Cross Family


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