Charles Rodney Slusser

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
13 April 1946 - 26 September 1968
Seattle, Washington
Panel 42W Line 023

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Charles R Slusser
Bothell High School, Bothell WA, 1964
Courtesy of Darilee Bednar
Faces from the Wall

The database page for Charles Rodney Slusser

16 Nov 2001

During the Winter/Spring of 1968, I commanded 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 11th Light Infantry Brigade. We operated out of LZ Liz in Quang Ngai Province and up into Quang Tin Province. This was southern I Corps and a very, very nasty place. It was my privilege, at nineteen and a half years of age, to command a rifle platoon. I was awfully proud to be an Infantry officer and I know that my friend, Chuck "Butch" Slusser was equally proud of his Crossed Rifles.

Chuck was my friend. He was about two and a half years older than me. I was badly wounded in action in June of 1968. Chuck was killed in action just about three months later. I spent 18 months getting pieced back together at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. I was retired at the ripe old age of twenty-three due to my wounds. I then went to college, graduate school and law school. I have been a career prosecutor for twenty years. I have been married for thirty years to an extraordinary woman and we have been blessed with four children: a daughter 19 and three sons: 15, 11 & 6. The Good Lord has been more than generous with me and I thank Him every day.

Chuck has always been in my thoughts over the years. He had a marvelous sense of humor and loved to laugh. He was an outstanding Infantry officer and soldiering was quite natural for him. I know that he would have been an equally outstanding citizen had the Good Lord seen fit. Chuck died during a ferocious firefight in Quang Tin Province. I communicated with his mother and sister for a number of years, but we have lost touch. I would like the world to know that a young Infantry officer named Chuck Slusser once laughed and walked among us. He was only twenty-two when that firefight began. He was twenty-two forever at the end of it. I know that he sleeps the gentle sleep allowed those whose spirits place love above fear. Were we that young once, Chuck, and did we walk on the edge of a razor blade for so long? For all of my brothers who fell in that faraway jungle so many years ago, I love you. Thank you for your magnificent courage and sacrifice. We who were there know of your glory. I carry you in my heart. Sleep the sleep of ages. Never, never again must we waste our precious youth for the sake of half hearted political folly.

"I have beheld the agony of War through many a weary season; seen enough to make me hold that scarcely any goal is worth the reaching by so red a road." (Thomas Hardy)

"Think where Man's glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends." (William Butler Yeats)

"I do not see why I should e'er turn back, Or those should not set forth upon my track To overtake me, who should miss me here And long to know if still I held them dear. They would not find me changed from him they knew - Only more sure of all I thought was true." (Robert Frost)

God Bless: Charlie Three Zero Out From a friend & fellow Infantry Officer,
James Patrick Casey
Senior Deputy District Attorney
Sonoma County District Attorney's Office: Narcotics Unit: 600

3 Jun 2004

I was the Artillery Forward observer in Chuck's Infantry company. He was one of the Platoon Leaders. We went on many patrols and helicopter assaults together. The first time I went out on a night ambush it was in the company of Chuck and his platoon. My last memory was of him sitting opposite of me in a Huey slick giving us a thumbs up before we hit the LZ. There but for the grace of God go I. None braver or more professional. Truly an American Soldier.

From a fellow officer,
Ed Mihalacki

14 Apr 2005

Beloved Brother ... My Hero!

Today would have been your 59th birthday. I still remember your last birthday. We had to celebrate it early because you were leaving for Vietnam on the 9th. All the family was there at our sister Jean's house in Mount Vernon, Washington. At times it seems to me only yesterday, days like today. Has it really been 37 years? I was just 14 then and you were everything to me. But a strange thing happened the night we were told you had died. Dennis replaced you as my hero. His compassion and kindness to a lost girl crying in the rain has never been forgotten. He's so much like you in every way you would be proud. Two brothers so like two peas in a pod. Rest easy, big brother. Happy Heavenly Birthday!

Any of Chuck's buddies, please feel free to send an e-mail. I have been working on my family history, and need any info about him in service. Thanks.

From his baby sister,
Judy Slusser Hansen

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Charles Slusser entered the Army on 04 Oct 1965, going through Basic Training at Fort Ord and AIT at Fort Jackson. He was selected for Officer Candidate School, reported on 03 Apr 1966, and was commissioned on 02 Feb 1967. He then was sent to Fort Bragg for Special Forces training with B Company, 6th SF Group. He departed Fort Bragg 21 Oct 1967 enroute Vietnam, where he reported for duty as a Platoon Leader in C Co, 4/21st Infantry, on 18 Nov 1967.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009