The Arizona Military Order of the Purple Heart had its virtual convention on May 30. Charles "Chuck" G. Byers Jr. was nominated to be the Arizona state commander to represent all the Purple Heart Chapters.
He is a Purple Heart recipient from the Vietnam War. He was a medic and served as a combat medic in Vietnam from July 1967 to June 1968, according to a release.
He was with the 9th Infantry division 2/60th stationed in the Mekong Delta. While attending to a wounded soldier, he was wounded on June 1, 1968, and spent six months as a patient in Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
After recovering, he stayed in the service and entered the Walter Reed Army Nursing program, and graduated in 1970. While working in Walter Reed Army Hospital he spent six months on the presidential ward. In 1972 he was discharged from the service and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor, and the Purple Heart.
Mr. Byers has dedicated his life to helping veterans. He has volunteered for the past five years as the chief veterans service officer for Arizona.
He has been the congressional liaison for Congresswoman Lesko for military and veterans affairs. He is currently on the Veterans Benefits Committee for the National Vietnam Veterans of America, where he educates VVA members on the VA programs and legislation written to help veterans. He also meets with members of Congress to advocate for legislation related to veterans benefits.
Mr. Byers holds many town hall meetings addressing Agent Orange/toxic exposure awareness, Hepatitis C, post traumatic stress, suicide prevention and contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
In 2018, he was inducted to Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society.
He and his wife, Cheryl, live in Gilbert. They have three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Go to mophaz.org.