Soldier Honored: Charles R. Soltes Jr.
Branch of Service: Army
Army Major Charles R. Soltes Jr., 36, of Irvine, California was assigned to the 426th Civil Affairs Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, Upland, California. He was killed on October 13, 2004 when an explosive device struck his convoy as it returned from a local hospital in Mosul, Iraq. Five other soldiers were wounded during the incident.
The son of an Army officer and Vietnam veteran, Charles Soltes attended Norwich University, a military school in Vermont. He was class president and graduated in 1990 as a second lieutenant. He joined the Army Reserves in 1990 and served on active duty in Texas, South Korea, and West Point, New York. Major Soltes was an optometrist and was working to help rebuild the public health infrastructure in Mosul.
Major Soltes loved to fish and camp, and he played rugby in college. “Even as a kid, Robbie was an uncommon human being… I don’t think he ever had a job that wasn’t about helping others,” said his life-long friend, Greg Liccardi. The Soltes family lived in Irvine, California – which included his wife and two sons. At the time of Major Soltes’ death, his wife was eight months pregnant with the couple’s third child.
All three of his children have been Folds of Honor scholarship recipients.