You only need a cursory glance at Chuck’s biography to be awed by what he did for his country and for all of us veterans. His widow needs some help so please consider making a donation if you can. -Jack
Charles “Chuck” Schantag was a Vietnam“combat wounded” Marine. He got the better of a NVA officer in a surprise, close quarters jungle encounter during Tet, on January 31, 1968. In defending himself, he set off the grenades on the NVA’s belt. He was thrown quite a distance from the resulting detonation, suffering flash burns, broken bones, loss of hearing and a broken eardrum. The injuries left him with embedded shrapnel souvenirs, lifelong physical disabilities and severe PTSD after 6 months of surgeries, burn treatment and recuperation in Philadelphia Navy Hospital.
Chuck and his wife, Mary, founded the POW NETWORK, and for more than 20 years they and their team worked tirelessly to honor real US military veterans – especially POWs, making sure the history of the Vietnam POW/MIA issue was recorded. In later years, the effort was re-directed to expose those who made false claims in an attempt to usurp the honor, valor, and integrity of those who truly earned it.
On Thursday, Feb 23, 2012, Chuck died suddenly from a massive heart attack, taking him long before his time. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary. His death has left Mary in a financially crisis.
Chuck was the Chairman of the POW NETWORK, a disabled Vietnam veteran and member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was also a member of DAV, the River Rats, and an honorary member of MOZARK MOAA, NAM POWs, USARA and the SFA.
Chuck’s dedication to the veterans of SW Missouri prompted them to expand their efforts to include their heavy involvement with the annual Veterans Week celebration, held each year in Branson from 5-11 November, including the annual MILITARY GALA which the POW NETWORK hosts annually during that week.
Together, Chuck and Mary have helped literally thousands of people per year, over the last 20+ years, providing them with assistance in obtaining military records under the Freedom of Information Act, and aiding them in acknowledging and honoring the contributions of real American veterans while working tirelessly to expose military imposters and those who aggrandize their military credentials. They have consistently aided law enforcement officials at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as court officials. They have been strong advocates for the STOLEN VALOR ACT of 2005 and have written testimony which appeared in presentations on this matter to both Congress and the US Supreme Court. Chuck and Mary have traveled widely to key locations around the country, lecturing on the subject of military imposters, phony POWs, and the need for both the STOLEN VALOR ACT and a national database of honor recipients.
In all their years of running the POW NETWORK, Chuck and Mary never drew a salary or wage from the donations made to the POW NETWORK. Their efforts have been 100% voluntary, and their only personal income was derived from Chuck’s employment, and then from his VA Disability (100%) and Social Security Disability Insurance (100%).