Voices of our Veterans: Lieutenant Charles Wayne Monks
JACKSON, TN (WNBJ)-
“In fifty-one, I turned eighteen and I was due to draft, but I was in college and the draft board told me that if I’d go in ROTC, which I did, then they’d defer me until I got through college,” says Lieutenant Charles Wayne Monks.
After school Monks married his college sweetheart just two weeks before being deployed. He was sent to Fort Bennett in Georgia to complete his training with the army. Then he was sent to Korea
“Stayed there for sixteen months and served in the infantry, the 24th infantry division on the dmz along the Imajin river…we were protecting to keep them from coming across the border and fighting again…they were threatening to come every night and we didn’t know the next morning where we’d be.”
Because of his college education in biology monks had to fill is as a medical officer for a year
Then he was commander of a rifleman infantry unit as a 1st Lieutenant.
“Korea is the hottest and the coldest and the wettest and the driest place in the world”
After sixteen months in South Korea, a physical revealed that monks had a tumor on his rips. They had to send him home to the US to operate."
He emotionally recalls the day that he returned to his wife and son that was born while he was deployed, “it was four o’clock in the morning, so I get in and I greet my wife and her mother and daddy, and I said let’s go back and see the little boy. So, we did and the little boy woke up. She... Had to rock him back to sleep… I can still see him. I sat down on the bed over there and the next thing I knew she said wake up honey supers ready. I slept for twelve straight hours ill never forget it.”
After he returned home, Monks was in the ready reserve for four years and then the standby reserve for four more.
Monks says that his time in the service taught him how to be a leader and how to treat people.
He started a fertilizer company and to this day he continues to own and operate the first self-service car wash in Jackson.
Monks has a daughter and two sons, five grandchildren and one great-grandson.