Following is Chuck's speech in "Veteran of the Year", which he was awarded in 2001. "Veteran of the Year" is the prize presented to the celebrities of the army graduate who played an active part in the year.
It is indeed a pleasure to be here tonight.
This is an incredible honor.
It all started back in 1958, when I graduated from high school.
I really didn't know what I really wanted to do with my life. And I talked to my mom and said "Mom,
I'm thinking about going into military cause I don't wanna go to college and maybe I can find what it is I am seeking when I get to military."
So I joined air force, got into military police primary.
So I joined military police and air force and fortunately I was sent to Korea.
At that time I didn't think it was fortunate but it ended up being very fortunate for me.
Because I didn't have a real sense of direction as a young 18-year-old boy and I didn't really know what I wanted.
And when I got to Korea, I got to a first witness of martial arts.
I have heard of judo, but I never heard of, it was called Tang Soo Do, but I never heard of that.
So I joined a Judo class first day that I was in Korea and two week in my training I broke my shoulder.
So I've got my arms slinging and had nothing to do so I was walking out into a village.
One day I looked up on this little building and I see heads keep popping up.
"What is going on up there?" so I walked up there and I see these Korean jumping up in the air and spinning in the air and kicking.
I go "Holy Macho!
I can't believe human body can do that kind of stuff. "
I was really interested in it but it looked mean, so I went back to the base and asked Judo instructor " What is it those guys are doing out there?" he said it is Tang Soo Do.
I said "you know what?
I'd really like to take it cause my arms sling so maybe I can practice those kicks."
So he took me out and introduced me to my instructor Mr. Shin.
So I started training and amazingly one of the fellows I trained with in Korea is here tonight.
Joe Weeks. I haven't seen Joe in 37 years.
I wanna thank him.
My military background and knowing what military did for me as a person really structured and give me a focus in my life.
I have a brother who was killed in Vietnam, I wanted to do a movie in his honor.
So I went up doing first "Missing in Action" movie in Vietnam.
But then I wanted to do a prisoner of war pretty badly so I went up doing playing a prisoner of war.
Then the third one I read about children in Vietnam, called children at the dust.
So I went up doing a movie about these children.
Then I went up doing two "Delta Force" movies, one co-starring Lee Marvin, whom many of you know was Marine.
It was really an honor working with this man, who is an Academy Award winner.
But I have had an honor meeting many military people.
I've been very very fortunate and I can not express how gratifying this award is for me.
I wanna thank all of you. God bless everybody.