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Happy Birthday Cpl. Palmer

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Happy Birthday Cpl. Palmer

Marine Cpl. Charles O.Palmer II, circa 2006.

Photo contributed/

POSTED March 27, 2014 12:14 a.m.

Monday was Cpl. Charles O. Palmer’s 43rd birthday. 

Most people spent their day at work. Kids went to school, while those too young spent the day at home. Those fortunate enough may have gone for a drive and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather. People went through the everyday hustle and bustle of life. I cannot speak for Cpl. Palmer, but I’d venture a guess that however you spent his birthday, he’d take great pride knowing you spent the day in a positive manner.

On May 5, 2007, Cpl. Palmer was one of two Marines killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad. The 1989 Manteca High graduate enlisted with the Marines in 1992 and served for four years. He settled in Mooresville, N.C., after his honorable discharge, and signed up for the Marine Corps Reserve. It was near the end of 2005 that he reenlisted, stating in a letter to the service that he had never found a “job equal to the is home.”

Charles grew up in our town, running track, playing football, and wrestling. He was a humble, quiet guy, and above all diligent. He worked as hard as anyone you’d ever meet. He liked to camp, fish, and barbeque. A Mantecan’s Mantecan!

In 2008, his father Chuck Palmer established the Cpl. Charles O. Palmer Memorial Troop Support Program. This volunteer program allows “everyday” citizens the opportunity to reach out to active duty military personnel serving on our front lines. It’s easy to forget, that even though we are not currently at war, there are tens of thousands of American servicemen deployed in highly forward and dangerous areas of the world.

The Cpl. Charles O. Palmer MTSP looks to provide these men and women with a few amenities from home, and a reminder that their service is loved and respected. The MTSP puts together packages loaded with the creature comforts of home: snacks, jerky, non-perishable food items, along with magazines, crossword puzzles, squirt guns and baby wipes. My friends that have served don’t take the latter two items lightly. Not seeing an actual shower for weeks at a time make squirt guns and wipes a godsend.

On April 6, at New Life Lathrop (107 D’arcy Parkway in Lathrop), the MTSP will hold their Easter packing event. Starting at 2 p.m., Chuck and his volunteers will collect these items and have them delivered to our servicemen overseas for Easter. Please find and make the time to participate in such a wonderful endeavor. 

The town of Manteca in recent years has become the home of the largest Memorial Day celebration on the West Coast — undoubtedly a huge source of comfort and pride to the families and friends of fallen American soldiers. Let’s take this opportunity to reach out and thank those that serve and protect our way of life.

And then let’s go a step further.

How great would it feel as a serviceman to receive a letter or card? A handwritten letter or picture drawn by a child would be a spirit-lifter, no doubt. There are many school teachers in town that have the opportunity to make this happen in spades. Just imagine an Easter Sunday overseas, and opening a letter that says “Hi, my name is Joey Silva. I’m 8 and from Manteca, Ca. Happy Easter and thank you.”

It’s the little things that go a long, long way.

Happy Birthday, Charles, and thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice for your country.

For more information, please contact or visit


Hey Facebookers

Are you interested in the history of our town? Do you have old photos of historic landmarks? Or non-historic? Heck, an old picture of Ed’s Patio or Honodel’s Pharmacy?

Two Facebook pages are currently dedicated to nostalgia of this variety: “History of Manteca California” by Joe Brocchini; and “You know you grew up in Manteca when????” by Joe Platt. Each creates an opportunity to argue about who is in a random Veritas School class picture, or recall when you used to have to “sign your ticket” at the old Ace Hardware Mart. I’m certain both these pages would love your input in preserving a little Manteca history. 

As we all know Facebook is a guilty pleasure, so we may as well be guilty together. Joe Brocchini is offering a major prize to the first person to provide a picture of The SCOOP. Speculation is that it’s his eighth-grade graduation suit from Mendosa’s Men’s Wear. Clap, clap, clap!​


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