After the fullest of lives, ROGER G. CHARLES passed away suddenly in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday, February 17, 2022. The son of Delmon and Frances Charles, Roger grew up in Williamson, W.Va., where he earned his Eagle Scout and was valedictorian of his high school class. In 1963, he entered the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he made lifelong friends, took up boxing, and declared himself 129 pounds of twisted steel and dynamite. In 1967, he was commissioned in the Marine Corps and, in 1968, deployed to Vietnam as an infantry officer. All told, he spent three years of his life deployed overseas, in combat and training exercises. Most of his career of twenty-two-and-a-half years in the military was spent in the D.C. area, where he was stationed at Quantico, Headquarters Marine Corps and the Pentagon. He retired in 1990 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
A student of history and human nature, Roger earned a master's degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, which served him well when he undertook a second career as a journalist specializing in military and national security affairs. He worked for a non-profit news agency, National Security News Service, before embarking on freelance projects. Under the leadership of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes at CBS News, he was instrumental in the uncovering of the Abu Ghraib scandal, which garnered Peabody Awards for the team. Later dramatized in the film "Truth," Roger was astonished to see himself portrayed with verve by Dennis Quaid.