Fort Stewart dedicates gym in honor of American hero - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fort Stewart dedicates gym in honor of American hero


Fort Stewart held a celebration in honor of a true American hero.

The installation dedicated the Fourth Infantry Brigade Combat Team Gym on Tuesday in honor of Pfc. Charles R. Johnson.

The soldier was posthumously awarded the Silver Star 57 years after his death for his valiant actions during the Battle for Out Post Harry in the Korean War. He was assigned to Baker Company, 15th Regiment, Third Infantry Division.

After collecting weapons for injured soldiers that he helped move to a bunker for cover, he went back out alone, putting himself between the enemy and the wounded. He was found the next morning when reinforcements were carrying out the wounded.

He is responsible for saving at least eight soldiers' lives, including the life of Pvt. Don Dingee.

"This is icing on the cake and is really going to help us with closure," said Dingee. "I get a little choked up when I talk about him."

"It's unbelievable," said Juanita Mendez, Johnson's sister. "There are not words to describe how wonderful it is to hear him remembered in this way by so many, and my family, we are just thrilled. "

"In 2010 Colin Powell coined the phrase ‘You got to have a Charlie Johnson moment,'" said Dingee. "What that means is, look for somebody who needs help and don't hesitate, just take care of it, don't wait for somebody else to do it. Just do it. That's the way Charlie was all the time."

The 80,000 square foot fitness center is used daily by about 1,200 soldiers. It has a Cross-Fit area, a pool, climbing wall, weight room and more.

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