Lance Cpl. Charles Hanson of Wakulla County was on patrol Sunday when a bomb cut his life short just days after turning 22 years old.
Family and friends gathered at the Medart home of Hanson. A knock at the door Sunday brought the news every military family dreads.
“Can you imagine? That's something you never think is going to happen, never think it's going to happen," shares Hanson’s grandmother, Linda Walsh.
Hanson and another marine in his unit were killed Sunday. His family says he was on patrol in Babil Province when a bomb exploded, sending his Humvee into the air, this for a Marine who had already seen combat in Fallujah and Naziriyah, and whose 2nd Marine Regimen helped rescue POW Jessica Lynch.
"I hate that he's gone, and I feel for any other family who is having to go through what our family is having to go through," shares Hanson’s older sister, Shyia Sumner.
Hanson's family says he dreamed of being a Marine all his life, just like his grandfather. He joined the Marine Corps in the spring of 2002 and had been deployed to Iraq twice since then. The Sopchoppy High graduate was expected home in February, anxious to hunt and fish again and be surrounded by friends and family.
"I just hate that I'm not going to be able to give them back to him. Ah, this is terrible. I can't believe I lost my baby brother," Sumner shares.
Hanson had been injured in another explosion a few months ago and received a Purple Heart for it. A Marine lieutenant says he'll now be recommended for another one.
Funeral arrangements are not yet complete. We'll share those with you as soon as we can.