Carmel man reminisces on World War II experience on 100th birthday

CARMEL, Ind. — A veteran who has called Indiana home for 50 years celebrated his 100th birthday Tuesday. Charlie Schweitzer says he was a member of the 88th Infantry.

Schweitzer was a technician in the war, responsible for operating and fixing phone and radio communications.

“Well, I never fired a shot,” Schweitzer, who earned the rank of sergeant during his time in the U.S. Army.

Charlie Schweitzer taking a swing outside a casino in Italy.

He did see time in the battlefield. It started in northern Africa, then moving into Switzerland and eventually the Italian Alps, where he and fellow soldiers met the German Army.

“We went up over this big hill, with a mountain on top, and that’s where the Germans were,” Schweitzer recalled. “They were shooting at us, but fortunately most of the stuff was going over our heads.”

Schweitzer was a father before getting drafted, with another child on the way. In the end, he and his wife had five children, who were born between the 1940s and 1960s.

Schweitzer has spent roughly half his life as a Hoosier. We worked at RCA for 45 years before retiring in the early 1980s. He’s lived at The Barrington, a senior living community in Carmel, for nearly the last three years.

Most of his free time involved golfing. In fact, Schweitzer was a member at the Ulen Country Club in Lebanon for more than 50 years. He tried swinging the clubs this past Father’s Day, but got hurt. His family only wants him to putt now and planned to take him to a course Tuesday night for his birthday.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard proclaimed Tuesday as “Charlie Schweitzer Day,” celebrating his birthday and his service to his country.

“It’s a blessing and a challenge to be 100 and to have seen what he has seen in those years,” said Charlie’s son, Ken Schweitzer.

The family is hosting an open house at The Barrington on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate Schweitzer’s 100th birthday.

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