Charley Holton Collier

Private First Class
Army of the United States
09 March 1947 - 15 November 1965
Mount Pleasant, Texas
Panel 03E Line 054


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Charley Holton Collier

15 Jul 2003

Thanks for the opportunity to say this , Charley was and still is the love of my life 38 years later. He fought and died for what he believed in!!! I am proud to still be Charley's girl 1965. And I salute you for your beliefs, and I know that if you were alive you would still be fighting for those beliefs.

Tribute to Charley
by Glinda Dunlap

We fell in love so very fast,
But in our hearts we knew it would last.
But little did we know what was in store,
When you left for the Vietnam war.

We wrote each other every day,
After you had to go away.
But then one day no letter came,
The Vietnam war was to blame.

Our dreams for us came to a end,
But you fought for what you believed in.
And that one thought keeps me sane,
and I know that no one is to blame,
and even though we never had a chance,
we lived and we loved and I am so glad,
I would not trade it for the world
and I am so proud to still be Charley's Girl.

I have been missing you greatly these past few weeks, I really can't seem to find any peace. My love for you won't go away, but the truth be known I would not want it to anyway. Sometimes I wish I could relive those precious days we had before you left and went away. I could relive them over and over again. And be so happy and content. Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes and continually dream about all of those precious things. Things that we did, things that we said, all the sweet dreams we had. But now you are with the Father up above, and I have to be content with the memories of our love.

My Heart
Glinda Dunlap (aka:charleys_girl1965)

My heart is aching this time of year
For those that have been lost to me over the years.
Numerous family and friends
have gone to meet Jesus to celebrate with Him.
I guess I am a little jealous you see, because I wanted
them to stay here with me.

But I have grown wiser over the last year,
and after many tears shed, I realize they are still here
My mom and dad are here you see,
When I look in the mirror they look back at me.
My grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts,
are there in my memory, and not just by chance.
And then there was Charley, the love of my life,
I am only sorry that I never got to be his wife.
He was only eighteen, when he went off to fight in the
Vietnam war.

But he went by choice, this I know for sure.
And I am so proud of the way he died,
for in his country he took great pride.
And this is for all soldiers present and past,
that have chosen to defend us to the very last:
May you be safe,
May you come home,
and hopefully some day you won't have to be so far from home.

24 Jul 2004

Charley, you brought so much happiness into my life.
40 years later I still love you. In fact possibly more.

You were a good man, only 18 but very much a man, good morals, a strong love for your country. You died for what you believed in.

I am now and forever proud to be Charley's Girl 1965.
I have but one regret, and that being I did not get the chance to become your wife.


From his fiancee,
Glinda Gayle Dunlap
66PR54620 #272, Pittsburg, Texas 75686
13 May 2004

Rivers of Blood Have Given Us Oceans of Freedom

I thank you for the freedoms I have lived these many years.

From a grateful American,
Michael Pyle

03 May 2006

I did not know Charley but I have met "CHARLEY'S GIRL", Glinda Gayle. We have shared many hours on the PC. Just sharing our stories with each other. Thank you for your friendship, Glinda Gayle, and God Bless. Homer

From a friend of Charley's Girl,
Homer Lay

06 Mar 2008

It has been a while since I visited Charley's site. I try to make a point to stop by and visit friends who are listed here. I need to just open the site and visit with Charley now and then.

We need to remember these fallen men who gave their lives for all that are still here ... and to remember their friends and family as they still mourn for their loved ones.

Glenda, my wish for you is love for being Charley's girl, I feel sure Charley passed with you in his heart. I hope you are well and in good spirits. Thank you for being a friend and sharing your love of Charley with all of us.

From a friend,
Homer Lay

12 Feb 2008

I did not know this young man. I watched "We Were Soldiers" and noticed his name in the memorial at the end of the movie. I just want to submit a word of thanks to the young men of Texas who gave their lives for me in that battle. Thank you, Charley.

Linda Titus
Friendswood, Texas

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Charley Collier
died in the fighting in the
Ia Drang Valley
November 1965.

Visit the
Landing Zone X-Ray site

and The Virtual Wall's
Ia Drang Memorial

Charley Collier is remembered in another place, too.

Robert Merriman

Somebody said the superintendent's house was on fire, so the five of us walked down the hill from school to watch it burn.

Four of us were seniors that spring of 1964 - Larry, James, Jimmy and me. Charley was the fifth member of our group. He was a junior, and we let him run around with us as long as he didn't do anything stupid.

The day was chilly. Larry, James, Jimmy and I had on coats; Charley wore a short-sleeved shirt. If Charley owned a coat, it was a secret kept from everybody who knew him. Charley's father was a pulp wood cutter. None of us had ever seen him, except when he drove his loaded log truck to the railroad where the cars that carried pulp were parked. Charley's family lived back in the woods, the deep woods, down a dirt road somewhere. His family didn't have much. None of us did, but Charley's family had even less than the rest of us.

Charley was a bright kid, quick and intelligent. Everybody has known a kid like Charley, known that somewhere behind those quick remarks and comic attitude lay an ability to do more than he did. Charley could have made excellent grades, but he chose not to. Teachers wouldn't have known what to do with him if he had. Besides, in Charley's life there was reality, then everything else. And the reality was that Charley was the son of a pulp wood cutter. Barring some great miracle, Charley would always be the son of a pulp wood cutter.

The superintendent's house was really burning by the time we got to the bottom of the hill. The fire had burned through the roof . The five of us just stood around for a minute or so, watching the house burn. Then Charley said, "I bet we can save some of their stuff", and before we could stop him, Charley opened a window and crawled inside the burning house. We four seniors stood outside the window, taking whatever Charley handed out. Pretty soon we had a pile of chairs, small tables and books stacked beside a pecan tree.

Charley had just started on a closet when the fireman arrived. The school was between two towns, each four miles away, and it took the volunteer fireman a little while to get there. Charley was handing out a pile of clothes when one of the firemen ran up to us yelling. "What do you boys think you're doing? You're giving the fire more oxygen! Shut that window!" Grownups knew more than us kids, so we got Charley out of the house, shut the window and watched the fireman spray water on the house.

After the fire was out, we went inside the house. Everything was burned; nothing usable was left. We went back outside.

The basketball coach came up and said, "I hear you boys saved a lot of stuff from the house." One of us said, "Yes sir, but it was Charley's idea. He went inside. All we did was take what he handed out the window."

The coach turned to Charley, who stood there with his hands in his pockets. The day had turned colder. The coach said, "You look cold. Where's your coat?" Charley replied, "I don't have it with me." The coach just nodded. He said, "You did a good job. I think you've done enough for today. Why don't I drive you home." Charley said, "It's only one o'clock." The coach laughed. "I know. But I don't think the superintendent will mind."

We four seniors graduated that year. Larry went to work for a telephone company. In September, James and Jimmy went off to college. I joined the Army.

In August of 1967 I met up with Larry at Bear Cat, base camp of the 9th Infantry Division. Larry had been drafted in 1966. We sat around in his hooch for a while, drank beer, talked about people back home.

After I got back home, I learned that James had graduated from college and had a job with NASA in Houston. I ran into Jimmy at a high school football game in 1969. He had put on a few pounds, didn't look like the all-district tackle from high school. Jimmy was married, had a kid, taught at a junior high. He said we were doing the right thing in Vietnam. We had to stop those Communists somewhere. But: "I've got a wife and kid, Bob. I can't become involved in a war thousands of miles from home."

That takes care of everybody but Charley.

See, the thing is, Charley didn't have to go in that burning house. He could have been just like the rest of us, stayed outside and watched it burn. But Charley wasn't like that. Peoples' things would be lost if somebody didn't do something. And although Charley had absolutely nothing in common with the superintendent, he went inside the burning house. Charley knew what had to be done, what he had to do.

In 1965, Charley enlisted in the Army, went to Vietnam and died there.

In April 1988, I was in Dallas on Army business. I went to Fair Park. There's a monument there, lists the names of Texans who died in Vietnam. There were a few names I wanted to see; one in particular. I found him.

9 MARCH 1947-15 NOVEMBER 1965
Mt. Pleasant, Texas

I never knew Charley's middle name.

Robert Merriman served with Air Cav Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Vietnam '66-'67

This true story appeared in the 1st quarter 94 issue of Thunder Run.
Permission to reprint from the editor of Thunder Run is granted.
If permission from the author is required,
Robert Merriman can be reached at (903) 885-8700.

Taken from the 11th Cav site

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his fiancee,
Glinda Gayle Dunlap
66pr54620 #272, Pittsburg, Texas 75686

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Jul 2003
Last updated 03/26/2008