A local hero who went to our country's defense and ended up imprisoned by the enemy as a POW was laid to rest on Monday afternoon.
As dozens of American flags waved in the air, family, friends and local veterans gathered to give a final salute to Charles "Chuck" Hartney, who gave so much for this country during one of its most trying times.
Joel Jimenez, Commander of Chapter 41 Wichita Falls Disabled American Veterans, says it is great to see so many people gather to pay their respects.
"For the younger generation and for the people of this community, it is very important to be aware that this man," Jimenez says. "There's only about three of them left in our community, so we're happy to have a legacy like that carry on."
Hartney passed away on Oct. 23 at the age of 95 and was laid to rest at Crestview Memorial Park in the new veteran's cemetery.
Hartney joined the military in 1942 and fought in World War II.
During a mission, Hartney's plane was shot down over Hamburg, Germany where he was captured and held nine months as a Prisoner of War.
Local Ride Captain for the Patriot Guard Ted Foster says men like Hartney is why they called them the "greatest generation.
He says this community owes so much to chuck and others like him.
"It's a great honor for us. We love to come out and support these families because of what they've done in the past. If it wasn't for those guys. We wouldn't be here," Foster says.
In addition, Jimenez says, "His legacy will carry on because of this man and we just loved him so much and this community should be proud that fellow Americans know about the POW Chuck Hartney."
Hartney ended up serving in the military for 24 years, during which he received special honors including a Purple Heart, and a Prisoner of War medal.
A dedication to this country that will never be forgotten.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, son, daughter and two stepsons.