In his 23 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Major Charles Carte has traveled the globe and rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s elite. And even though he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, Carte will return home to Carroll County to celebrate his upcoming retirement this month.
“There will be an official retirement ceremony on the West Coast later this year, but to me, this will be my most important event. Back home will be more symbolic about my overall service,” said Carte, a 1990 graduate of Carroll County High School.
Carte’s retirement ceremony is set for Sunday, August 30 at the Grover King VFW Post 1115 in Hillsville. The public is invited to attend the ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m.
“I wanted to open it to the public because I am a part of Hillsville and I believe in service to our community,” Carte said. “I want to talk about those who have had positive influence on my career. I want to talk about my father and so many others that helped me achieve this significant milestone.”
After his high school graduation, Carte attended Wytheville Community College for two years before joining the Marines in August of 1992. Carte quickly worked his way through the enlisted ranks up to Sergeant. From there, he graduated from East Tennessee State University and accepted commissioned officer status, which took him up to his current rank of Major.
“The rank is not important as the experiences I’ve had. I will never regret joining the Marine Corps and serving my country,” Carte said. “That is the overall message I want to convey — that service to other people is the most important thing.”
During his 23-year military career, Carte did two tours of duty overseas, spending 10 months in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, where he was in charge of VIP trip planning, making sure important figures such as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then-Senator Barrack Obama were safe when they visited danger zones. He also deployed to Bahrain in 2012 after threats from Iran to shut-down oil shipping lanes.
Carte said he has moved 11 times while in the Marine Corps, including being stationed in Pensacola, Florida; San Diego, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; and his current residence in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I’ve been able to do a lot during my time in the Marines. A lot of things many people wouldn’t get to do — helping people, diverse people from throughout the world,” Carte said. “Times were hard, believe me, but I will never regret it.”
Carte said he wants to open the retirement ceremony to the public Aug. 30 as a way to get people back to honoring service to others –- by showing that we can serve our country, even though we may not be in uniform.
“A great example of that is Shelby Puckett, my guidance counselor at Carroll County High School. You just do the right thing, you do it in the voting booth, or when someone needs help. People need to get back into that mindset,” Carte said. “I also want to recognize my father, William Carte, who is a resident of Hillsville and a Marine Corps/Vietnam veteran. I want to recognize the great work of Andrew Barnes, who attended Wytheville Community College with me, and established the Appalachian Warrior Foundation to assist veterans from our area. His father, Dr. Thomas Barnes (Captain, US Navy, Retired), was an important mentor to me and many other veterans at Wytheville Community College.”
Now, Carte said the Marine Corps has prepared him as a business owner of a company that helps him give back to veterans and civilians alike. Carte founded AnxietX (learn more at AnxietX.com) to help people with anxiety, anxiety disorders, and depression. After his final deployment, Veterans Affairs prescribed Carte several prescriptions. Like many who take them, he could not tolerate their adverse side-effects. He stopped taking synthetic medications and researched natural alternatives to better manage anxiety.
“I initially did this to help myself. I didn’t expect it to turn into a company,” he said.
While earning his MBA at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Carte had to come up with a startup business plan. AnxietX ended up taking first place in the UNLV E-Commerce Business Plan Competition, ultimately leading to full funding.
“It has been doing great. We achieved 10,000 Facebook fans in three months,” Carte said. “So as I transition from my time in the Marines, I will continue doing things to help others, and with this company I could eventually help millions of people manage anxiety. One in three of us go through depression, anxiety or panic attacks at least once in our life. This is for people who want to build healthy neurotransmitters to defend against anxiety, naturally.”
Carte’s retirement ceremony at the Grover King VFW also brings his military career full circle as it will take place at the same location as his commissioning ceremony 20 years ago.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN