A Season of Light & Darkness

By In Audio, Photos

A Season of Light and Darkness

by Will Yurman

Nearly 60 years ago Charlie Pennington enlisted in the army. A pilot, he volunteered to fly medical evacuation helicopters – unarmed vehicles that went by the call sign Dust Off. He did his medical training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas where he met Terri. The two quickly fell in love and married and began a year that he would call the best of his life, and Terri would call the worst of hers.

Charlie, now 82, served a tour in Vietnam and then a second tour in Korea to be with Terri who worked as a nurse in an Army hospital.

The couple moved to Florence in 2000. They are proud of their service while also conflicted about the value of the war in Vietnam. But as Terri, 78, said, “Life goes on. And you deal with the cards you’re dealt.”

Charles and Terri Pennington at their home on August 3, 2023. (Photo by Will Yurman)
1 Comment
  1. Dr. Andrew F and Elizabeth U Thompson, Anne Thompson, MD,MPH August 23, 2023

    Dear Charles and Mary Jo,
    Thank you for your service at a very difficult time for our country. True leaders are those who step up to the plate and serve others above self, which is the definition of what you did for those in Vietnam and Korea. I still have fond memories of having dinner with you two, Aunt Ruth and my parents, at the Missouri Athletic Club in celebration of your return home. You are as young now as you were then, in mind and spirit. May God continue to bless you and your family.
    Frank, Beth and Anne


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