Thursday, February 11, 2010

History is Our Stories ~ Charlie Wilson of Texas

Representative Charlie Wilson
The Liberal from Lufkin

If you haven't read and seen Charlie Wilson's War --- you should.
If you are interested in the history of Afghanistan --- you should read and see Charlie Wilson's War.

Charlie Wilson was the Congressman from the 2nd District of Texas from 1973-1996. He was known as "Good Time Charlie" for his excesses as a hard-drinking womanizer. But, he was also a very hard working Congressman and defense hawk. He is best known for the appropriations he secured for the US covert war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. The money provided weapons for the Afghans who drove the Soviet Army out their country, contributing to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

After the ousting of the Soviet Union, the US withdrew its support, in spite of Wilson's encouragement to help rebuild.
"That caused an enormous amount of real bitterness in Afghanistan and it was probably the catalyst for Taliban movement," Wilson said in a 2001 interview.

Charlie Wilson loved this country and the men and women who served to protect and defend her. He was a staunch supporter of the VA and its hospitals. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1956 and served in the Navy from 1956 to 1960.

One of my favorite Charlie Wilson stories:
A Trinity city councilman purposefully poisoned his dog and killed him, when Wilson was 13. Wilson described how he used his hardship driver's license to round up voters from the poor neighborhoods to vote in the councilman's election. Wilson said he told the voters as they got out of the car that he did not want to tell them which way to vote, but the councilman, Charles Hazard, killed his dog. Wilson said he drove 96 voters to the polls, and Hazard lost his reelection by 13 votes. Wilson described that as the day he fell in love with America.
America is a better place because of Charlie Wilson. And, east Texas is a better place because of Charlie Wilson.

Wilson is survived by his wife, Barbara, who he married in 1999, his sister, Sharon Allison, a niece and nephew. He was born in Trinity in 1933. Funeral services are pending.

Rest in Peace, Charlie --- and thank you!

A great interview (8 minutes)


Buck said...

My kinda Democrat and they sure as hell DON'T make 'em like Charlie any longer. More's the pity.

Kanani said...

A great man!