America's Fallen Hero's
Lt. Charles R. Rubado
Charlie was our youngest son, he was born July 12th, 1982 at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. At that time I was 1SG of B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Ours is an Army Family, I am a Retired Army 1SG with 25 years active service and my wife is a naturalized citizen born in Sukhothai, Thailand, we were married in October, 1970 while I was stationed in Japan. Our oldest boy, Steven, was born at Ft. Rucker, Al. He was also in ROTC in college and was commissioned as an Artillery Officer, he spent 5 years on active duty. He made Captain but felt that God had called him to do other things. He and his family were missionaries in South Asia for almost 9 years. He now works for a Foundation that provides Christian Based Business Training to organizations and missions around the world, they now live in Rome, Ga.
Charlie attended Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. He joined the ROTC Program, a fraternity (Lambda Chi) and majored in Criminal Justice and Military Science. He was a proud member of the Moccasin Battalion. While in school he interned with the Pinellas County Public Defender Office, the Lakeland Police Department, attended Airborne School at Ft Benning and somehow found time to accompany his brother on a missionary trip to Thailand.
While in school he also met Mary Anne Hollingsworth and fell in love, they were married in December, 2003.
In April 2004 Charlie was Commissioned as a 2nd LT. in the United States Army, he chose to go on active duty. His brother, Captain Steven Rubado, administered his oath at the Commissioning Ceremony and I gave him his First Salute. He attended the Armored Officer Basic Course at Ft Knox, Kentucky and was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Ft Carson, Colorado. In February 2005 he deployed to Iraq as a Tank Platoon Leader.
Charlie assumed command of Crazy Horse Troop’s White Platoon. Inheriting a seasoned and battle hardened Platoon, he quickly earned the respect of his men and NCO’s through his actions. He led his platoon in combat operations in South Baghdad and in the open expanses of the deserts of Northwest Iraq. A few months into the deployment he was given command of a half Troop (a Tank and Scout Platoon). On August 29, 2005 while conducting reconnaissance in Tal Afar Charlie was killed in action while clearing a check point.
After his death we heard from many members of his unit. It was no surprise to see him during his down time sitting outside with a folder of the latest intelligence planning future operations. He was always calm and collective, he seemed to keep the situation manageable regardless of how chaotic it seemed at the time. His unit quickly picked up on his demeanor and always remained calm and adjusted quickly to frequent changes. With minimum guidance, he and his unit were always ready to execute any mission to standard. Charlie gave what every commander wishes for in his leaders, he gave me confidence in his unit. Charlie was the hardest working Platoon Leader in the troop. No matter what was going on he was one step ahead. A selfless and fearless leader who could be counted on in any situation. The Army could not ask for a better man to lead soldiers into battle. Soft spoken, calm, decisive, consummate workaholic, a leader, a warrior, he was dependable and did not know the word failure. Lt Rubado seemed to have everything figured out and he carried with him an overwhelming sense of inner peace. Add that to his confidence and competence made him a tremendous leader. Never angry or frustrated, he just talked calmly and everything got accomplished. Among his awards and decorations are a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Airborne Wings and Combat Action Badge.
Florida Southern College, the ROTC Moccasin Bn, Lambda Chi Fraternity and Mary Anne’s Sorority help us keep Charlie’s memory alive. Every year members of his fraternity come to Bay Pines National Cemetery and hold a ceremony to honor his memory. The ROTC Library was renamed for him. Yearly the FSC ROTC Program sponsors the “Charles R. Rubado Memorial Golf Scramble” with the proceeds going to a Scholarship in Charlie’s name and the ROTC Program. The Tournament has been held every year starting in 2006. I remember members of the 3rd ACR, members of my High School Class some of whom are Vietnam Vets, Officers Commissioned with Charlie, High School classmates of my son, Gulf Coast Chapter of the 101st, Sun Coast Chapter of AUSA, local Veterans Organizations and people from the local Community and Gold Star Families who show up every year. They help us remember not only Charlie but also all the members of the Armed Forces that have paid the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11.
We miss having Charlie in the world but he was doing what he felt was right and he loved the Army and his soldiers. At night I imagine what it would be like to hold his children and witness the kind of man he would become as he went through his life. Another thing that I do every night is to say a prayer for all the men and woman in our Armed Forces that are going in harms way around the world.
Our family has paid the price for living in this great country. Other young men and women like the Cadets of the Moccasin Battalion will continue to do their part in our Armed Forces to keep our nation a beacon of hope in a troubled world. God Bless the United States of America.