Finishing a long path, family sees road renamed for fallen Butler County Green Beret

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Middletown and state officials celebrate memorial highway designation with family. Younger brother Robert Carpenter worked for 15 years to receive the designation. SFC Charles E. Carpenter was Green Beret who was killer in action during his third tour in Vietnam. He was 27 at the time of his death and was survived by a wife, three daughters, and his siblings.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

After 15 years of work, Robert Carpenter can now see his late brother recognized for his service and giving the ultimate sacrifice to his nation.

On Wednesday morning, his family came together with city and state officials to officially dedicate a 3.2-mile section of Ohio 122 (Roosevelt Boulevard) for Army Sergeant First Class Charles E. Carpenter, a Green Beret killed by small-arms fire during a hostile conflict in Vietnam in 1969. He was 27 and was in his third tour of duty.

Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey said she understood the day’s celebration was years in the making.

“An event reminds us that freedoms are not free and people like Sgt. Carpenter and his family have given so much so that we have the opportunity to pursue the ‘American Dream,’” Condrey said. “So it’s incredibly appropriate that the gateway to and through Middletown, I believe it’s 3.2 miles in length, is dedicated in his honor.”

The ceremony was held at Middletown Fire Department Headquarters, and Condrey presented a proclamation to the family designating Wednesday as SFC Charles E. Carpenter Day. Family members were presented copies of the proclamation and miniatures of the memorial highway sign.

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State Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., worked with state Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, to get the memorial sign designation for Carpenter.

“With people like Sgt. Carpenter, you learn really quick what heroism really is,” he said.

Coley apologized that he did not get this done sooner and said the sign should spur travelers to look up information on Carpenter.

“They’ll see a hero and a role model that they can look up to and they can model their life after. Not some athlete or musician or some phony-baloney politician but someone who lived on this planet and gave all for this country,” Coley said. “Let these signs serve as a reminder for future generations of what heroism looks like.”

ExploreMORE: Vietnam Veterans Day: Late Butler County Green Beret may have part of Ohio 122 named in his honor

Robert Carpenter, Carpenter’s younger brother, said the dedication ceremony, “was a few years coming. I did it for the family and I’m very proud. I don’t know how I feel. I was a kid when he got killed and I wanted to honor him.”

Following a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, Carpenter’s family took photos with the new sign as a Middletown street crew erected it on Ohio 122 just east of Wicoff Street. The other sign noting the designation was placed just west of Towne Boulevard.

ExploreMORE: Brother: Vietnam veteran would be ‘proud’ to have Middletown road named in his honor

Carpenter, who was from Madison Twp., known by locals as West Middletown, was living in Warren County when he enlisted in 1959 into the Army. Robert Carpenter said they always called Middletown and Madison Twp. home.

Robert Carpenter was 15 when his brother was killed and has worked for more than a decade on the memorial designation.

Charles Carpenter is survived by three daughters.