National Cemetery -
Service with Full Military Honors for LTC
Chuck Lyda - Friday, 10/8/2010
a warm Fall day, Chuck Lyda's friends, teammates, family and officers gathered
to pay homage to his beloved memory. The horse-drawn caisson with a flag-draped
casket was followed by about 50 men and women who came from all over the country
to accompany Chuck on his journey's end. Full honors included body bearers, escort
troops, a Taps bugler, a twenty-one gun salute and a military
that played a tender rendition of "America the Beautiful." During the
ceremony, a bald eagle was seen circling the nearby trees.
by Austin Krissoff. Austin's brother, Nathan, lost his life in Iraq while Chuck
was deployed there. Their father, a doctor from Truckee, CA, joined the military
to honor his son's sacrifice and also served in Iraq. (See Charles
Albright's tribute to Nathan &
Schick-Lyda was an attentive and gracious host throughout the day, providing a
chartered bus to transport our group to Arlington Cemetery. Many of us had also
been to the July 10 Memorial Service
at Lake Natoma, California. After the funeral, Carol accompanied us as we traveled
to the prestigious Fort Myer Officer's Club. There, we all enjoyed an excellent
and ice cream in
the dining hall where fellow soldiers and friends shared memorable stories about
Chuck. He will be greatly missed. You spent your career saluting our country --
now our country salutes you.
LTC Samuel "Ken" Godfrey kindly sent us the notes for his remarks on
1300hrs FRI 8 OCT 2010
Full Honors Funeral of LTC Charles Clinton "Chuck"
23 JUL 1952 - DOD: 12 JUN 2010 - Age 57
years together, 10
years Married to Carol: "Loved being married to him; seems like he should
return from TDY."
Chuck's mom is Charmian, sister Laramée, brother Grady.
to Arlington National Cemetery where for nearly 150 years our nation has honored
her fallen patriots who answered the call of their country to defend our nation,
our constitution, and freedom both at home and around the world. Each one of the
more than 300,000 memorials represents the story of a life of service. Each has
earned the right to be laid to rest in this sacred place. It is no different for
us today as we have gathered to honor the life and service of LTC Chuck Lyda.
27 years in the California National Guard. Served in Iraq in Tikrit and Baghdad
- was preparing for another tour when he fell ill. Performed many different roles
during his career - last role was as mobilization officer for the State of California.
2-time World Champion Slalom Canoe paddler, 2-time Olympian (1976 & 1980)
in Canoe/Kayak. Coached the Elite Military Biathlon Team for the World Class Athlete
Program. Many of his athletes were Olympians. Many outdoor passions including
cycling, climbing, orienteering and paragliding.
Chuck had a strength and passion for excellence. He did not have any excuses for
not being the best you can be. One of his paddling friends said in an email about
his death, "a Titan has fallen." He was respected and loved for being
himself, uncompromised and strong.
Arlington? He was such a good Soldier. His athletes went back to Soldiering
because of 911, because their Soldier Coach said so: "You are athletes, but
Soldiers first." He had a tremendous career as a US Army soldier. He also
had a passion for US Military History. Arlington is a place of honor and I wanted
his name on the ground here as a soldier. He was a fit athlete caring for his
earthly vessel. He showed tremendous strength and even military bearing during
his battle with cancer. He was determined, a fighter and had a spirit of contentment.
for themes of leadership by example, faith in grace through Christ, Soldiering,
and athletic victory: 2 Timothy 2 NIV
You then, my son, be strong
in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in
the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified
to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please
his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not
receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
Our Father and God, here in the presence of death we know that You are the source
of life; that our very breath is a gift from Your hands. We thank You for the
comfort we receive from Your presence, and ask that You hear us now as we call
upon You for consolation and strength. May we live each day in the awareness that
we too, shall walk through the valley of the shadow. May our hearts be open to
Your work, and our lives be lived in Your service, until that day when we step
from this life into the life to come. Through Christ we pray, amen.
We commit LTC Chuck Lyda's earthly remains to safekeeping in this place of honored
rest; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And we trust his soul to our
loving, gracious, almighty God. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Numbers 6: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face
shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give
For our comrade in arms and fellow Soldier, LTC Chuck Lyda, our nation bestows
military honors. In life he honored the flag and in death the flag will honor
(Photo by John
Wreath for Chuck
Wreath-Laying Ceremony - Saturday, December 11, 2010
never met, but today, I participated in the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington
Cemetery, and I placed my wreath on Charles' grave. It was such an honor to participate
in such a powerful tradition, and I am grateful for the service that he gave to
our country. I just wanted to share today's photo with you to know that we, as
strangers, never forget.
received this thoughtful email and photo that I wanted to share with everyone.
It is the first time I have seen Chuck's headstone. Thank you so very much, Natalie.
Grady (Chuck's brother)
you very much for taking the time to do this. As I'm sure Grady has already told
you, it means so much to all of us that people are willing to do this for a complete
stranger. It reflects a lot of credit on you and the others who participate. Merry
Christmas and God Bless.
(R) Michael L Herman
Director, Facilities & Engineering
us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content
with a half truth when the whole can be won.
West Point Cadet Prayer
Photo by Natalie Brown, January 2012
year Worcester Wreath Company makes and decorates holiday wreaths and places them
on over 5,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. Morrill Worcester (President
of Worcester Wreath Company, based in Harrington, Maine) started this annual event
in 1992 to honor our nations fallen heroes. The Arlington Wreath Project
adorns the white tombstones with evergreen wreaths and red bows to recognize sacrifices
our Veterans and their families have made for our country. The wreaths will be
at Arlington National Cemetery for approximately four weeks. Wreaths
Across America is now raising money to help fulfill its mission through sponsorship