In Writing, Charles Pefinis Captures Legacy of the ‘Greatest Generation’ and Beyond

PARKVILLE, MD—As an Army combat infantryman in Belgium during World War II, Charles Pefinis was feasting on K-rations with his squadron of ten on the side of a remote hill draped with pine trees.  As they looked down, three German tanks pulled to the side of the road; soon, those soldiers would exit their Panzers to eat.    

All was quiet…until Charles’ breakfast, a block of cheese, slipped from his hand.  As in slow motion bouncing between the grass and rocks, it came to rest…immediately under one of the enemy tanks.  The American soldiers frantically whispered “get down” as they were sure the German troops would open fire on the hill.  

Miraculously, the Germans were oblivious to the noise, and fifteen minutes later, made their way up the road.  Charles’ squad could breathe a sigh of relief, and in character, he finished his breakfast.

For young Charles Pefinis, now a resident of Oak Crest retirement community, it was one of several occurrences in which his “Guardian Angel” offered protection during combat.  

The recipient of a Bronze Star and three other battle stars for his service in the U.S. Army, Charles returned home and graduated from Georgia Tech in 1949 with a degree in industrial management on the GI Bill.

He enjoyed a rewarding career in the office supply industry notably as Founder and President of National Business & Security Systems, Inc. and Vice President of Premium Office Products.

But in retirement, Mr. Pefinis, now 89, has found a new passion: writing.  His first book, How We Won the War…or Ya Gotta Be Kiddin!, is a compilation of stories from the experiences of the Greatest Generation in World War II.

“To chronicle the accounts of veterans, both men and women, is very rewarding to me,” stated Mr. Pefinis.  “I have been blessed with a beautiful wife of fifty-five years and family, and this is one way I can give back to our wonderful nation.  These books help to keep the memory alive of the ‘Greatest Generation’ and beyond.” 

Most recently, in 2014, he published his second war-related book, America At Its Best! World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan: its “Rosies,” its Nurses and its Warriors.

“I dedicated this book to the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” noted Mr. Pefinis.  “Those of us in the so-called ‘Greatest Generation’ marvel at their gallantry, dedication and patriotism.”

Both books are available on the Barnes & Noble and Amazon websites with a portion of sales dedicated to the Wounded Warrior Project.  Mr. Pefinis also speaks to groups and citizens of all ages about his experiences.

About Oak Crest:  Oak Crest is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living.  Located in Parkville, Maryland the scenic 87-acre campus is home to more than 2,100 residents.  Oak Crest is the ideal greater Baltimore retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.