U.S. Army – Vietnam
Charles Lenard Reefer went to school in Elderton, about half way between Kittanning and Indiana, PA. He left before graduating from high school. He tried to enlist in the Army, but he was turned down for medical reasons.
He moved to Jamestown, PA, when he was 18, after his mother passed away. In Jamestown he lived with his sister, Martha McHenry, and worked at Steel Car in Greenville. There he received his draft notice. When he went in for his physical, he was found fit for military service. It seems as if draft quotas could cure a lot of medical shortcomings.
When Charlie arrived at A Company, 5th Battalion, 46th infantry in Quang Ngai Province, he may have been surprised to find Rodger McElhaney there, who lived just down the road from him in Jamestown, PA. Whatever delight he had in that ended on July 16, 1969, when PFC McElhaney was killed in action.
Charlie himself outlived Rodger by only 23 days. He was killed by an explosive device on August 7, 1969.
According to friends in Jamestown, Charlie was full of fun, a very nice person. His nephew posted a tribute on the web site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund on May 25, 2001:
“It’s been such a long time…time that you missed so many things…times that you should have seen. It’s been a hell of a ride…you would have liked it…instead the ride took you from us, now both you and my dad are sharing that walk in the green fields of elephant grass. I thank you for what you gave and what you did for me…I took your ride, only mine was in the Corps…and my ride left me get off before the track came to an end. I remember you…I remember the night of the BBQ when you left us…find peace…Good Hunting Bro….Semper Fi“
On the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Panel W20 Line 109