Noted World War II Vet to Speak

By Laura Nelson

Charles Wiley has worked for over 80 years in a variety of occupations, including 13 years in the U.S. Navy during World War II and he will share parts of his unique life story in remembrance of Veteran’s Day with the public in free events on two Sul Ross-Rio Grande College campuses.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, Wiley will speak in Del Rio on the RGC campus at 205 Wildcat Dr. in the auditorium located in the Academic Building, room 105. It will run from 10:30-noon, resumes at 1 p.m. and will last until 2:30. Entitled “Carpe Diem,” the motivational seminar incorporates how the USA has changed. The seminar is suitable for audiences age 16 and up.

On Monday, Nov. 11, Wiley will present “WWII: When All Americans Went to War” from 1-2 p.m. on the Rio Grande College campus in Eagle Pass at 3107 Bob Rogers Dr., room D110. Prior to the lecture, he will be honored at the Eagle Pass Veteran’s Day ceremony that will be held at the Maverick County Lake beginning at 11 a.m.

Wiley began a career in entertainment when most of his peers were headed to Kindergarten. He started out in vaudeville with his father and then went on to the Broadway stage plus worked in the golden age of radio, the standard for news and entertainment in most American homes long before television appeared.

While in the Navy, Wiley and his military peers idolized war correspondents such as Ernie Pyle who wrote about the war from the soldier’s perspective as he shared their experiences on and off the battleground. The New York City native eventually returned home and enrolled in New York University and finished his journalism degree in night school while working full time.

Wiley worked under a grant to study Communism and he did research for journalists that led to his own freelance career. He covered a total of 11 wars, taking photographs, writing articles, and reporting on radio for a variety of outlets including NBC, WOR, UPI, the BBC and the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Plan now to attend and hear a live account of history from Charles Wiley!