Veteran of the Week: Duncan is a vet helping vets

American Legion 23rd District Commander and Columbiana Post 131 Adjutant Charles Duncan of Alabaster led the Pledge of Allegiance at the SCHS 100th Celebration. Pictured are Duncan and wife Pat at the celebration. (Contributed)

American Legion 23rd District Commander and Columbiana Post 131 Adjutant Charles Duncan of Alabaster led the Pledge of Allegiance at the SCHS 100th Celebration. Pictured are Duncan and wife Pat at the celebration. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON

Charles Duncan, Shelby County High School Class of 1967, represented the many SCHS veterans throughout its 100-year history when he led the Pledge of Allegiance at the SCHS 100th Celebration on Sunday, April 18.

Duncan grew up in Columbiana, the only child of the late John and the late Kathleen Duncan.

He attended Alabama College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

Because of his high testing scores, he was assigned to the Army Security Agency (ASA), the Army’s signal intelligence branch.

Semper Vigilis (Vigilant Always) was the Latin motto for the agency which existed from 1945-1976.

The ASA was the military arm of the National Security Agency (NSA.) Duncan was trained in interception of signals, which were used to identify the enemy and to break codes.

Duncan served in Vietnam with the ASA from 1970-1971. Upon returning back to the states, he was assigned to Vent Hills Farm Station, a joint ASA and NSA signals intelligence and electronic facility located in Virginia, where he continued to monitor electronic signals.

In 1977 the ASA merged with the U.S. Army Military Intelligence to form the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).

After four active years of service, Duncan left the Army to return to college.

In 1976 Duncan joined the U.S. Army National Guard stationed in Calera with C Company 152nd Amour Division.

He graduated with a business degree from Alabama College and worked for 30 years in various positions till retirement from the U.S. Army and National Guard and professionally.

Today, Duncan actively volunteers with both the Support Committee of the Alabama National Cemetery and the American Legion, where he is commander of the 23rd Division which encompasses Shelby, Chilton, Bibb, Talladega and Coosa counties and adjutant of Columbiana Post 131.

“I feel our country and especially fellow veterans are falling down in their responsibility to help our vets,” said Duncan. “One of the American Legion’s mottos is ‘veterans helping veterans.’ I feel it is my duty to help my fellow vets. I am trying to revive the Columbiana Post and would love to have input from Columbiana and South Shelby vets. Please contact me if interested, 205-910-3258 or cduncan67@yahoo.com.”

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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