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Loving Legacy

Blazer 88 Foundation Gives Back to Veterans and Their Families

Writer / Aime Drudge
Photography Provided

Chuck Theobald IV, beloved son, father, husband, Marine and friend, left this world living.

It is a rare individual who truly knows the value of each moment on this earth, and values each and every life that crosses his path. Theobald learned this from his beautiful mother, Susan Cotter, a longtime Fortville resident, and then went to work, making his mark on this world. His living legacy lasted 46 years. The Blazer 88 Foundation picked up immediately where he left off, and began in 2019 with a mission to serve the needs of our military members, who fought, as Theobald did, to keep our freedom alive.   

“I can’t not do it,” says Josh Ward, Theobald’s dearest friend and neighbor, regarding starting the Blazer 88 Foundation. “If someone truly needed something, Chuck never said no. He would put himself out to take care of any need that he was made aware of. That is why I push so hard with this. If someone comes to us in need, I want to make sure we have money to help them. To honor Chuck, we will be there and we will not say no.”

The foundation has helped numerous veterans, including purchasing materials and supplying a contractor to build a wheelchair ramp for a veteran, for access in and out of his home. They have also helped in providing funds to pay rent and groceries for a veteran who was put on disability from a traumatic brain injury sustained when deployed overseas, funded Christmas items for veteran families in need, paid for counseling services for veterans, and so much more.

Fundraising efforts include an annual motorcycle ride, a 5K run/walk and, this year, they added a gala that will take place on October 21.

“Veterans are thought of twice a year, but Chuck was there for me every day,” says Brandon Wright, a friend of Theobald’s and fellow veteran. “For me, the foundation picked up where Chuck left off.”

“Blazer 88 is community,” says Theobald’s mother, Susan. “Yes, at the core it’s a heart for those that walked on the front line, but that includes moms, dads, teachers, firefighters – all of us taking care of each other face to face and arm in arm.”

And the news is getting out. If you reach out to the foundation, you will be a part of the brotherhood that then becomes your tribe.

The foundation was named after Theobald’s call sign in the Marines, Blazer 88.

He left behind his wife, Britney, and four beautiful daughters.

As a tribute to Theobald on his 47th birthday, his daughter, Brielle, shares the words below. They sum him up beautifully, and also tell the story of why his legacy must continue with the foundation.


In memory of my dad, for his 47th birthday, here are 47 things my dad has taught me:

  1. Family is important.
  2. Family is not limited to blood.
  3. Pizza is important.
  4. Pizza King is, arguably, the best.
  5. You can fix almost anything with duct tape or super glue.
  6. Try to do it yourself – you don’t need instructions either. You’ll make it the way you like it anyways.
  7. If you don’t know the answer to something, look it up.
  8. You can never have enough socks and white T-shirts.
  9. Confidence is a mindset.
  10. Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers.
  11. If that stranger speaks a different language, get out Google Translate and speak to them in their native tongue. Even if you butcher it, the effort will be seen.
  12. Do everything you can to the best of your ability, without humility.
  13. Midnight nachos are always a good idea.
  14. Have whatever you want for dinner.
  15. Always try something new.
  16. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s bad.
  17. Stray from the path because sometimes the best things are found.
  18. Be a listener, a learner, and a teacher.
  19. Be willing to help. Anyone.
  20. Have fun.
  21. Country music and rap music can be played in the same setting.
  22. Your joy is important.
  23. Anything is possible.
  24. Any small thing can become a big and important memory.
  25. If you don’t have mountains where you are, the skyline of clouds can be your mountains. Make your own reality.
  26. Speak up for what you believe in.
  27. Beer is good.
  28. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.
  29. Be adventurous.
  30. A magician never reveals his secrets.
  31. That big man with all the tattoos over there at the bar is the same man who loves art, poetry, and cries while watching romcoms.
  32. Don’t just drive, drive with your knees while eating a doughnut and listening to gangster rap.
  33. Don’t sweat the small stuff .
  34. Nature is healing.
  35. Never give up.
  36. Play your music super loud in the morning to wake up your kids. They’ll grow to like it.
  37. Dad jokes suck.
  38. Never stop making jokes.
  39. Always check what’s in your cereal bowl before you eat it.
  40. Gain insight and learn before you judge.
  41. An oil change is really not that hard.
  42. When you feel like you have nothing, a sunset is everything.
  43. There is nothing wrong with you.
  44. When in doubt, sleep it out. You can literally fall asleep anywhere.
  45. Sometimes all a person needs is the biggest hug you can give them. No words are needed.
  46. Always be there when you say you’re going to be there.
  47. Die living.

Happy heavenly birthday Chucky T. My heart has hurt every day since you have been gone. I love you so much.

For more information on the foundation or to donate, go to blazer88.org.

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