MEDFORD, Mass. — Eight members of the same New England family served in the military during World War II and the last surviving brother was honored this weekend in Washington.
US Naval Coxswain Rosario Charles Santoro was taken on an honor flight from Boston’s Logan Airport to Washington D.C.
He is one of eight brothers who served in World War II, seven of whom were all overseas at the same time.
The Medford native is the last surviving brother of the veteran family. They were commonly known as the Fighting Santoros. The family has one of the highest numbers of family members to ever serve at the same time.
Charlie knows where every one of his brothers served and what branch they served in. He even remembers the injuries.
“My brother, Paul, got hit with a hand grenade,” he said.
Charlie is the last brother to survive and this past weekend he got a hero’s tribute.
On Sunday morning, Honor Flight New England put him on a plane for a day-long tribute in Washington D.C.
The honor flight was to thank Santoro and other veterans for their sacrifices and service to the country. They paraded him and others to the memorials and he could not have been happier.
“Every place we went there were more people to come see us. Shaking your hands. Saying thanking you. I thought it was great,” Charlie told Boston 25 after the event.
Charlie was also overwhelmed with emotion, thinking about his hero brothers.
“What does it mean to me? That I lost them all. That’s about it,” he said. “I keep thinking of them. Keeps me awake at night sometimes, I can’t sleep that good. I think of things. Wonder if I did the right thing. I don’t know, it’s very hard”
But he knows that they are still watching over him and that they’re all still fighting.
“I had a good life,” he said.
Cox Media Group