Retired United States Marine Corps Major Charles Carte was presented the Key to Hillsville on Aug. 31 during an informal ceremony in town hall. Carte told participants the trust symbolized by the key reflected his life of public service.
“We’re very honored to be here to present this award today,” said Hillsville Mayor Gregory Crowder to more than 11 friends and family members gathered to witness the presentation for the decorated Carroll County High alum. He described how the tradition of honoring someone with the “key to the town” arose from medieval times when walled city gates were locked at night.
He said only those demonstrating great duty and service to a city were given a key to unlock the gates when they pleased, noting Carte’s 23-years of distinguished service. Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 1115 Vice President Mike Lara also helped with the presentation.
“Service to other people is what’s most important,” said Carte after receiving the key. He explained how rank is not as important as his experiences.
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 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.
He credited the Marine Corps for giving him the opportunity of helping diverse people throughout the world. Carte opened his Aug. 30 retirement ceremony to the public as a way to get people back to honoring service to others and how people can be of service to the country without being in uniform.
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. He founded “AnxietX” 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.
Carte stopped taking synthetic medications and researched natural alternatives to better manage anxiety.
He later presented Lara with six bottles of AnxietX for members of the post. People may learn more about the product at AnxietX.com. He said if the firm continues to grow he hopes to one day establish a distribution center in Carroll County.
He said he was pleased to have a representative of the Post’s Young Guns group because their participation is helping make connections with younger generations of veterans. Carte praised the work of older VFW members, but said the Young Guns are helping the transition of community service to younger vets which weren’t being reached. He credited the group with using social media to help reach more veterans.
“The Young Guns are making that happen,” Carte said. “It’s not going to just happen here, but in other areas.”
David Broyles may be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.