Charles D. Case, or Chuck as he preferred to be called, was an A Squadron non-commissioned officer. The squadron sergeant major preferred to call him Dexter, which he did. Chuck was a nice guy; he would tell you so. To me, that is not something you can ever say about yourself. You can’t say you are a good parent, a funny person, a good judge of people, or a nice person; rather, those are observations and statements reserved only for others to say about you.

Everyone on a combat team brings something to a fight: the fast runner, the adept climber, the crack shot, the accomplished boxer…and Chuck packed a ridiculously hard punch. He was absolutely fearless, had a high pain threshold, and was an indomitable fighter on the ground. Nonetheless, I can in all honesty say that Chuck truly was a genuinely nice guy.

 I adopted a personal policy during my time in squadron: make all of my closing statements to these men here, like it is going to be the last thing they will ever hear.

Words ring true. At the rate that the men of Delta Force perish, it wasn’t ingenuous to presume that any given conversation with one of these brothers might be my last.

 Enter Chuck Chase, a solid operator with a superb sense of humor, dependable, and deadly. He was a solid hand in a fight, quick to compliment others and even quicker to boost morale and pump you up if you weren’t feeling your oats. “You’re a flagship, Bart!” I heard him once say. “People rally around you and look up to you. They want to be like you and look to you for guidance.” Bart didn’t like hearing that, but it was certainly true. He would come to realize that once he found himself in leadership positions.

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Chuck’s in the front row on the far right, on one knee

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Chuck was, physically, a rough man. His “pats” on the back were something to brace for, and his handshake was like a bear trap if you weren’t ready for it. I’ll cite a particular event: We elected to have a family gathering for dinner at one of the town bars. We sat outside in the back at picnic tables. Chuck was stoked, and when he got stoked he would engage in some measure of physical display of brotherhood.