Faces of Fort Cavazos: Charles Simpson
By Adam Schindler,2023-06-07
Military service often leads to community service when the camouflage uniform comes off.
However, some people choose to put on a different uniform.
Charles Simpson is a retired U.S. Army veteran and Code Enforcement Officer for the city of Killeen.
Though he now spends his days on the streets of Killeen, he grew up in Starkville, Mississippi.
”It was interesting,” Simpson said.
“It was at the end of integration. Growing up, you still had a lot of adjustments to make being an Army brat because we moved from Hampton, Virginia in the Newport News area, then down to Mississippi because my grandfather was sick.”
At 24, he decided it was time for a change of scenery, so he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
”After attending Jackson State, I wanted to do something different,” Simpson said.
“I decided to go ahead and come in and serve my country.”
He did this for 20 years as both a lightweight vehicle mechanic and a military police officer.
Now, he's spent the last 13 years as a code enforcement officer in Killeen, keeping the community safe through education.
”We try to educate them on the safety portion of it,” Simpson said.
“The reason why you don’t want your grass to grow more than 12 inches, the reason why you don’t want people blocking a sidewalk, the reason why you don’t want them having basketball goals in the streets, it’s a safety issue.”
As a noble calling, he answers alongside someone who proudly served with Simpson in the Army.
”Charles is a great man,” said Toron Thomas, fellow veteran and Code Enforcement Officer.
“He will do anything within his power to help you out, to educate you — whatever is needed for any situation. He’s always willing to lend a helping hand.”
That's why he has a message for the man that he says, has stood beside him for decades.
”On behalf of myself, as well as the rest of the team, we really appreciate you,” Thomas said.
“You're always there for all of us, you never say no, and we just thank you for all that you do for us each and every day.”
Charles Simpson honorably served his country for two decades and now puts on a different uniform to enforce the codes in Killeen — a way for him to continue serving and protecting his community.