ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Freedom in America has never come free. It’s a cost one veteran told WALB News 10 he’s willing to pay to serve this country.
“This is a day to remember those guys because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to go to those places either. I’m sure they paved a way for me. I just want to say, ‘Thank you, God,' because I know they paved the way for me,” said Staff Sgt. Charlie G. Johnson, a retired member of the U.S. Air Force.
Johnson was once just a small-town boy from Albany who had dreams to see the world and make a difference in it where he could.
“I ended up in Thailand, the Air Force Base in Thailand. I had a chance, that was one of the things I prayed for. I got to go overseas. My first time overseas, you know, I was young," said Johnson.
After graduating from Albany High School in the 70s, Johnson enlisted after and was sent to Texas. He eventually made his way back to Georgia working at the Warner Robbins Air Force Base before heading out on his whirlwind adventure.
“I went and volunteered for Europe and I got my assignment to Frankfurt, Germany," said Johnson.
Two years later and Johnson was on his way to an assignment in England before finally making his way back to the U.S., a career unlike any other.
Johnson said it’s special days like Memorial Day when he’s particularly reflective.
“In a way, I’m sad but in a way, I’m glad. I love the U.S. Air Force,” said Johnson.
Memorial Day is the chance to remember our servicemen and women still with us today and to honor those who sadly gave their lives to serve.
Staff Sgt. Johnson came back to Albany in 1992 to take care of his sick father.