Seniors, veterans priority for Carver
Chuck Carver retired a second time in 1993, but the 75-year-old Linda resident hasn't slowed a bit. His days are full of meetings, volunteer labor and serving as an advocate for veterans and older residents of Yuba County.
“If something doesn't look right to me, I'm not afraid to speak,” he says in a charming drawl that he's never lost from his childhood in Richmond, Va.
Carver and his wife, Peggy, arrived in the Yuba-Sutter area in 1965, when the U.S. Air Force transferred him to Beale Air Force Base, where he worked as a radar technician. In 1973, after three years in the U.S. Army and 18 years in the Air Force, he retired, moving into the civil service workforce at Beale, where he labored for another 20 years.
He retired again in 1993, this time heeding the advice he said he has given to countless other new retirees since then: “When you retire, you can't just sit around on your dead butt and do nothing. You've got to keep active and do something.”
It was in 1968, after he returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam, that Carver joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He hooked up with Marysville's VFW Post 948 in 1973, served 10 years as post commander and currently is post quartermaster. It was his involvement in veterans' affairs that launched his present career as an unpaid advocate and community activist.
Carver has become a familiar figure at the annual Veterans' Stand-Down staged by the Disabled American Veterans. He served on the Veterans Memorial Committee of Yuba-Sutter and was instrumental in the building of memorials in both counties. He continues to be involved in custodial care of the monuments.
Through his veterans work, Carver became convinced politicians in Yuba County weren't looking out for either veterans or seniors as they should.
“In Yuba County, veterans and seniors have gotten the short end of the stick for years,” he said, lamenting the county's back-and-forth decisions over the years on providing a place for veterans to gather.
“I'm a senior and a veteran, myself. I would like to see services rendered to seniors in Yuba County.”
He has been instrumental in helping to shape a one-stop center for seniors in space left vacant by the county on 14th Street. He is also chairman of the Yuba County Commission on Aging.
His VFW experience also led him to a seat on the Marysville Cemetery Commission, which oversees the city's historic cemetery. The VFW maintains a section set aside for veterans, including many from the Civil War. He has been tireless in promoting and helping with cleanup efforts, and after a recent rash of vandalism, he assumed a custodial role, unlocking the gates and watching over the facility when someone wants to visit. He currently is raising funds to purchase and install a theft-proof flagpole for the veterans' section.
“Too many of those things get talked about or go unnoticed, and things don't get done,” he said about his labors in the community.
'Focusing ... on others'
“At age 75, Chuck Carver is retired from work but he's hardly slowed down, focusing his efforts on helping others.”
Joseph Calderon, Appeal-Democrat editor