Tipton County Veteran of the Month
Celebrating Tipton County's Veteran of the Month for August is Charles McCorkle. A reception will be held August 14 at 6:30 PM at the museum. Along with family and friends, the public will be invited to attend and express their appreciation to our veterans. In addition to a small exhibit focusing on the chosen veteran, the honoree will receive a certificate of honor and a small gift. A special thanks to our program sponsors: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4840 | Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Unit 116 | Woodmen LIfe, Neil Bringle.
Born November 16, 1948, Charles was raised in the small town of Greenwood, Arkansas and attended Barber School in 1967 following his high school graduation. Soon afterwards, however, he and four friends joined the Marine Corps. His father, a decorated WWII Army Veteran, worked at the Post Office and heard about his son’s enlistment through his good friend, the Marine Corps Recruiter. To add insult to injury, the recruiter had signed up his friend’s son for four years instead of the usual two! After his initial training he shipped off to Vietnam as part of the First Marine Division, which was responsible for security around Marble Mountain for the next 13 months. His follow-on station was Camp Lejeune for four months, then the USS GUAM (LSD 9), a helicopter ship. As part of that tour of duty he attended Jungle Training in Panama; he found it amusing since he and about 90% of the troops sent were seasoned Vietnam returnees! He ended up stationed once again at Camp Lejeune where, in May 1970, his unit was woken in the middle of the night and rushed to Kent State to back the National Guard, if needed. Luckily, they were not. For his service to our country Charles was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Frame, and Good Conduct Medal. Charles was granted an early out in September 1970 then attended school to become an EMT and firefighter. He worked as a firefighter for the federal government from 1975 to 2006, at various locations which included Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, and Naval Air Station Millington, Tennessee. He moved to Mason in 2006, then from 2009 to 2016 he enjoyed yet a third career stocking shelves at the Walmart in Millington.
After serving his time in the Marine Corps he met his wife Patricia Cross through his grandmother, and they married in April of 1979. They have a son Patrick McCorkle and a daughter Cassandra Bridgewater, both of whom live within a mile of them. Charles and Patricia feel extremely blessed to have their children and four grandchildren living so close. Charles and Patti are members of Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, where Charles serves as an elder. Charles is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and volunteers on Friday mornings at the Tipton County Museum. He was nominated for Veteran of the Month by his daughter, Cassandra Bridgewater, a Girl Scout Leader of Troop 13804, which has been serving refreshments at the Veteran of the Month receptions for over a year.