Legido was a rifleman and sometimes a machine gunner, making sure the weapon was ready and sighted in. He also carried a backpack with a device that jammed the enemy’s radio frequencies, such as those used to set off IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
“Anything can be a bomb, such as a tin can, a piece of wood or a plastic bag,” Legido said.
A year ago, the first and only member of Legido’s squad was killed in action by an IED. The Navy Corpsman stepped on it and died instantly.
Legido doesn’t usually talk about his combat encounters, but he candidly answers questions.
“When you’re being shot at, you hear the popping sound and then the bullets whizzing by,” Legido said. “That’s when you know it was close. It didn’t scare me at the time but looking back I knew it was a close call. But I was doing my job and it isn’t every day that you get to do something that’s part of history.”
As part of Bravo Company 1/1 Bravo Raiders, Legido was “blown up” three times, ambushed multiple times and came close to being killed on three or four occasions.
However, his injuries were minor.
“A concussion will give you a headache and you’ll feel sick and want to throw up and your eyes hurt,” Legido said. “But you get over it.”
Mom Jennifer Legido said she dreads the thought of seeing a strange car pulling up and a Marine in dress uniform coming to the door to deliver bad news.
“We’re very proud of him,” Mom said. “We were hard-pressed to hear his choice at first because my husband and I didn’t know if he realized what he was getting into. I cried every day for a month. We asked him to speak to Iraqi veterans who could tell him what he was getting into. When he graduated boot camp at Paris Island, it was one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Dad Aldo Legido said: “At the time, that wasn’t what we had planned for him but we supported his decision. It came as a surprise but we backed him fully. We put it in God’s hands and hoped for the best. Like any other parent, I wish this war would end tomorrow and he would come home.”
Brother Nicholas Legido graduated from MSSH in the class of 2013 and will be going to college. He plans on a career in medicine.
“I have nothing against the Afghanistan people,” Charles said. “But they can’t always rely on us. They have to take care of themselves. They can’t win unless they stand up for themselves. We can’t be there forever.”
Next month Legido will be going to Yemen to help fortify the embassy in Sanaa.
“We’ll beef up security and make sure there are no threats. If anything happens, we’ll be there to help.”
Charles Legido, the proud Marine, said he enjoys being home in Miami Springs because he usually only gets to visit once or twice a year and he has two more years to serve.
As for his combat experiences, Legido said, “It’s very exciting. I won’t lie. Anyone who says it isn’t exciting is lying.”