LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Vietnam War survivor from Lake Charles is now spending his time taking care of fellow veterans. It was 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War that Charlie Woolridge told his mother and father he had signed up for the Marines and was leaving the next day for training.
“(My parents) didn’t like it,” recalled Woolridge. “Especially my dad. He was soft-hearted. In fact, he cried when we left to go.”
Charlie served on several LST vessels just off the coast of Vietnam, making sure the war was supplied with tanks, ammunition and soldiers.
"They had a ramp that would off load. They would drop anchor and they could pull back out to sea. We had gear, all our equipment, ready to be deployed. We had six ships in our convoy."
Now retired from CITGO, Woolridge is a member of VFW Post 2130 and helps fellow veterans.
"I'm also a volunteer for the DAV. I drive disabled veterans to Alexandria for their appointments. But since March, it's been cancelled. We're not driving anymore. They have to find their own transportation."
Woolridge also volunteers at the VA clinic in Lake Charles and at the SWLA Veterans Home in Jennings. Woolridge served in the Marines from 1969 to 1973. He later served in the Marine Corps Reserve.