Tim Karcher – Unsung American Hero

Last Sunday, two days before American troops were to pull out of all Iraqi cities, LTC Tim Karcher was patrolling the Baghdad streets with his men of 2-5 Cavalry. Karcher was riding ‘shotgun’ in our military’s safest infantry vehicle, a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP), when they were attacked.


Interlude (John): I passed along Col Karcher’s info to the amazing ladies at Soldiers’ Angels. At the time, Richard thought he was recovering at Landstuhl. Replied Patti Patton-Bader “Col Karcher’s on his way to Walter Reed. We’ve got him.” Incredible. Feel free to drop them a couple of bucks.

An Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) pierced the armor, took both of Colonel Karcher’s legs off, above the knees and killed his driver. Karcher’s men rushed to his aid. They strapped his thighs with tourniquets and raced him to the closest medical facility. He was initially treated and then flown to Balad where surgeons labored to keep him alive. Once stabilized, he was flown to Landstuhl, Germany were he remains today.


Colonel Karcher is one of thousands of unsung American heroes. It is men like him that have made it possible for us to celebrate this American Independence Day. Tim Karcher is one of the best of the best. He is a “Jedi Knight,” a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). Last year, during an interview, I asked him about being an alumnus of such a prestigious school. He said, “I guess we can wield a laser pointer better than most.” As most great Americans, he is a humble man. But, don’t let his modesty fool you. He is a warrior. He has fought in the fiercest battles of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the 2-7 Battalion Operations Officer S3, he and Colonel Jim Rainey fought alongside US Marines in the battles of Najaf and Fallujah. On his next deployment, he was shot in the shoulder in one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq – Baqubah.

And, now this.

Today, above all days, we need to honor this man. He will tell you that he was just doing his job. What we all need to understand is that his job is the protection of every one of us. He has risked life and limb for our well being, for our childrens’ well being. He is a gracious gentleman, loving family man, and beloved leader. Now, both he and his family need our support

Now is the time for us to come to his aid. I will keep you posted on Colonel Karcher’s status and in my next post, I will let you know how we can help the Karcher Family. Now it is your turn to “Support Our Troops.”

Richard S. Lowry is the author of Marines in the Garden of Eden and The Gulf War Chronicles.


  1. Paul Melody says:

    LTC Karcher is indeed a hero. He is also the kind of man you'd want as a friend, father, or husband. He is the "real deal". Guts, honesty, selflessness, duty, humility, all these describe this great American. Pray for his recovery and for his family. Also pray for the family of Tim's driver who lost his life.

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  3. Shane Gries says:

    Colonel Melody, I would like to take this opportunity to underscore your comments.

    Lieutenant Colonel Karcher was my company commander back when I was in Hohenfels, Germany in 1997. He was truly one of the most professional officers I have ever had the privilege of working for. It was a joy to work for him, and I am a better man for having known him.

    This is terrible news (I learned of this a few days ago from friends), but I am happy that he is still alive. He and his family have some tough days ahead and I will pray for them (as well as for the family of his driver).

    The nation is a better place having men like Lieutenant Colonel Tim "Bull" Karcher defending it.


    P.S. The commenter Paul Melody is Colonel Paul Melody (U.S. Army retired), and he was LTC Karcher's battalion commander in Hohenfels many years ago. I had the honor of working for both of these men during my tenure there. These men were extremely influential in my own professional growth and development.

  4. Richard S. Lowry says:


    By now LTC Tim Karcher should be back in the United States. He left Germany earlier today.

  5. LtCol P says:

    Unsung no more– thanks for spreading the word. God bless him and his family, and his driver.

  6. BG Mike Ryan says:

    Tim is truly our best. A leader devoted to his men and got the same loyalty returned always. Multiple combat tours and continually keeping himself in harm's way, courageously leading his troopers. Not a unique story in our Army, but Tim towers over all.

    My thoughts and prayers to Tim and his family during his recovery. I know when these hard months are past he will remain a force in life. It is my privilege to know him.

    ps. Many of us have served under the wise and very able leadership of Paul Melody, who made sure we were ALL set up for success in our futures.

  7. Dave says:

    So why is it the soldier gets nothing more than "killed his driver"?

  8. Richard S. Lowry says:


    Because that is all the information I had. As soon as I find out more about the driver, I will tell his story too.

  9. Joseph Carr says:

    LTC Karcher (CPT Then), was my company commander in Hohenfels. I had the honor of working for him as his Training NCO for a little over a year. Although he didn't care much for the "paperwork" side of Army, he is an awesome leader and motivated all who came into contact with him. I pray for him and his family and all those out there who are in still harms way.

  10. Mick Adkins says:


    My name is Mick Adkins. Tim and I were best buds as LTs, and I was the best man in his wedding, and married his sister-in-law. I have an update for you.

    Tim is at Walter Reed, still in ICU, as of this. He has had some serious issues with a bloodborne infection and fever, respritatory distress, kidney function, anaesthesia, and a host of others. Alesia tells me that he is much better today. We were seriously sweating bullets for a couple of days.

    Tim's sense of humor and humility are undiminished. He is a tough dude, but a great man. When one of the nurses told him that he needed to do something, he responded, "Whatever you say jumpmaster".

    She thought he had a head injury. but didn't know that it waqs his typical demented sense of humor.

    Your continued prayers for his recovery, and the families of those men who were killed, are greatly appreciated. Those who know him will tell you that Tim has always been about the soldiers.

    His family is well taken care of, and Alesia is by his side for the duration of his recovery.

    LTC Melody, I never had the priviledge, but Tim has always had nothing but good things to say about you. You were a mentor and role model for him. Thanks for your tuteledge.

    Shane, I was the guy you ran into at the ice cream shop in KC. Sorry for not calling you about the news, but i was kinda busy. I will try calling you this weekend.

    Thanks, all, for the support.

  11. Paul Melody says:


    I have been to see Tim three times. My most recent visit was last Saturday, 18 July. He was awake and could talk as they had taken out the tubes and breathing apparatus. Alesia has posted that he is now in another ward, out of the ICU. Praise God! I hope to speak with him today. Alesia is a rock of strength and love–an absolutely unbelievable woman.

    Paul Melody

  12. Tom Legones says:

    Tim was my first company commander when I was a new platoon leader, and I couldn't have asked for better. He and I were just trying to figure out how to get together over here when this happened. I'll stop by and try to see him in a few weeks at Reed. Its good to hear from the rest of you. Tim continues to be a great example to me, and I wish him and Alesia all the best as he recovers.