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Navy identifies Fort Smith sailor who died of COVID-19

Arkansas

Charles Robert Thacker Jr. was assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) — Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, from Fort Smith, assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), died from COVID-19 April 13.

He died at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.

Thacker tested positive for COVID-19 March 30 and was removed from the ship and placed in isolation on Naval Base Guam.

On April 9, Thacker was found unresponsive during a daily medical check and transferred to Naval Base Guam via ambulance where he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit. 

PEARL HARBOR (April 16, 2020) Official photo released of Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, of Fort Smith, Ark. assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), who died from COVID-19 April 13 at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. (U.S. Navy Photo/Released)

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. Our number one priority continues to be the health and well-being of all members of the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group and we remain steadfast in our resolve against the spread of this virus.

Capt. Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer

Thacker’s spouse is an active duty member stationed in San Diego.

She was flown via Navy Air Logistics Office (NALO) flight to Guam, arriving April 11. At the time of his passing, Thacker’s spouse was by his side.

Crew members who tested positive for COVID-19 remain in isolation at controlled locations on Naval Base Guam, and they receive daily medical supportive care.

All medical care is being provided by medical personnel from USS Theodore Roosevelt, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, and elements of the 3rd Medical Battalion.  

To support Sailors, USS Theodore Roosevelt has a civilian resiliency counselor, a Chaplain team and medical psychologist assisting as needed. 

The crew is also being supported by Joint Region Marianas and Naval Base Guam Chaplains.

USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Guam on March 27 for a scheduled port visit for resupply and crew rest.

I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Chief Petty Officer Charles Thacker, Jr. His service to the country has earned my utmost gratitude, and my deepest condolences go to his family, friends, and crewmates.

Sen. Cotton

Today, Fort Smith and the State of Arkansas mourn the passing of a brave patriot and sailor. Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker, Jr. defended our nation and upheld his duty to serve and protect freedom. This is a great loss against an unprecedented enemy, and we must continue to amplify resources on all levels to defeat this virus and safeguard personnel. My deepest condolences go out to the Thacker family, his loved ones, and fellow service members. Though no words can heal the pain, our community sends prayers of comfort and strength during this time.

Sen. Womack

Chief Petty Officer Charles Thacker, Jr. honorably served our country in uniform. His dedication to our nation was perhaps only surpassed by the tremendous love he had for his dear family. Petty Officer Thacker’s appreciation for the special things in life – particularly his loved ones and passions – reminds us how precious time really is and how this virus poses a threat to all of us, even the warriors dedicated to defending America. My thoughts and prayers are with the Thacker family and all who counted Petty Officer Thacker as a friend or loved one. We honor his life and service in uniform, and pledge to keep this proud son of Arkansas’s legacy alive in the years to come.

Sen. Boozman

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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