The Celtic Valor Mission
The mission of Celtic Valor is to raise funds for the SGT. Charles Kitowski III Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Saint Thomas - Houston. This scholarship is for veterans who are not 100% funded by the G.I. Bill. Celtic Valor pursues funds by grants, events, fund raisers, and private donors like you. You can support our mission by donating below.
Who was Charles?
To his family he was “Trey” or ‘Trey-boy”. To his friends he was Charles, “Chuck” or nicknames we do not repeat in polite company. But when asked, “who was SGT. Charles Bernard Kitowski III?” do you start from the beginning in Gulfport, Mississippi or do you discuss his youth in Katy, Texas or his rambunctious teens and young adulthood at both Saint Thomas HS or University of Saint Thomas or do you start with him volunteering to join a unit in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan that was short-handed on August 12, 2007? The answer is all of the above.
Charles’ story can’t have a beginning nor an end because that was his character. He was all about the moments. He never put himself in front of the story nor was he going to be offstage observing. Charles’ acts of charity, from his volunteering at his church’s fundraisers to building homes for Habitat for Humanity, are a testament to his relentless ambition to take what is in front of you and make it a little better. When the events of 9/11 happened, Charles was not going to sit on the sidelines as other served. Charles told his mother that he had "friends who were fathers, who were either fighting or quite possibly could be deployed, and if he could save one father, if one father got to come home and raise their child, it was worth it”
Charles made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his country when a bomb detonated near his convoy in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Charles was awarded the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He has been honored in the Hall of Honor at his High School, the youngest by 30 years. He was named Alumni of the Year by the University of Saint Thomas in 2015. He has received many more accolades, but Charles would not have wanted anyone making such a big deal about him.
Charles’ family said it best in their statement upon learning of his passing, “Charles died doing what he felt duty bound to do. Please remember his life, his happy memories, his favorite expressions or advice he ever offered”. Well Charles, for myself and the Celtic Valor family we are duty bound to continue your story and we hope you will keep us in your thoughts as you have never been far from ours.