ROGERS (KFSM)- In sports we get carried away with calling athletes heroes. If you step into the garage of 92-year-old Rogers resident Charles Ross you’ll find more running medals than you can count.
He has set eight world records in track and is the only man over 90 to ever complete the 2000 meter steeple chase.
Ross is a real American hero, and it’s not because of what’s in his garage.
Ross is one of 300 men in United States history to serve in three wars. He fought in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The movie ‘Green Berets’ with John Wayne is basically a movie about Ross. He has two Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and is in the Army Ranger Hall of Fame.
It would take days to read all the literature on his career.
So how does a 31-year military veteran go from war medals to track medals?
All it took was a trip to his 50th high school reunion.
“I went to my class reunion,” Ross said. “I looked around and all the men were out of shape and I said ‘This is not for me.’”
So at age 70 Ross started running marathons and competing in the US Track and Field Masters Championships.
“I never thought I would have eight world championships,” Ross said. "That’s pretty rare.”
But one man can’t achieve all that success without a secret weapon. For Ross, it’s his wife, Joan.
“I was nursing in London,” Joan Ross said. “Then I met my husband and that was it. I never did go to work at the hospital.”
After 57 years of life, love and marriage Joan still lets Charles travel the world to run his races. But with the wife, some things never change.
“In fact, he has to phone,” Joan Ross said. “If he doesn’t phone he’s in trouble.”
At age 92 Ross still doesn’t see an end in sight.
“Of course,” Ross said. “I intend to. I hope to. I would like to do it when I’m 95. It’s a possibility that I can.”