ROCKWALL – This Memorial Day weekend The Rockwall News remembers US Marine Private First Class Charles “Chuck” Robert Stevenson from Fate, who was killed in action in Vietnam, Feb. 5, 1968.
He graduated from Rockwall High School in 1966.
According to his brother, Larry Stevenson of Rockwall, Chuck was deployed to Vietnam during one of the heaviest fighting periods, just at the beginning of the TET Offensive, which began Jan. 31, 1968.
Beginning that morning some 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched the Tet Offensive (named for the lunar new year holiday called Tet), a coordinated series of fierce attacks on more than 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam.
According to The History Channel, General Vo Nguyen Giap, leader of the Communist People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), planned the offensive in an attempt both to foment rebellion among the South Vietnamese population and encourage the United States to scale back its support of the Saigon regime. Though U.S. and South Vietnamese forces managed to hold off the Communist attacks, news coverage of the offensive (including the lengthy Battle of Hue) shocked and dismayed the American public and further eroded support for the war effort. Despite heavy casualties, North Vietnam achieved a strategic victory with the Tet Offensive, as the attacks marked a turning point in the Vietnam War and the beginning of the slow, painful American withdrawal from the region.
Larry said Chuck was engaged to be married and attending business school in Dallas when he joined, instead of the impending draft possibility.
“I like to believe he volunteered because he felt a duty to country and saw a possible career path in the Marines,” said his brother. “I can’t be sure where in Vietnam he served and I’m still researching that, and what battle he died in, as well.”
He said Chuck’s funeral was at the old First Methodist Church on the Square in Rockwall and is interred at Sparkman Hillcrest cemetery on Northwest Highway in Dallas. He was survived by his mother, father, two sisters, three brothers, grandparents, great grandmother and many close relatives and friends.
“I remember Ralph Hall and his family being there, along with a lot of other Rockwall County residents,” his brother added.
Thank you, Chuck, and your family.
May God especially comfort his family this Memorial Day weekend and continue to bless Chuck.
Rest In Peace, Chuck. Ooh Rah!