WINTERVILLE — When an explosion in Vietnam in 1969 resulted in severe abdominal injuries to Charles Coburn and the loss of his right arm, Coburn was told he had a life expectancy of only a few days.
Coburn has far exceeded that prognostication, and a celebration of his 65th birthday and 41-year career as a baseball umpire was held Saturday at Pitt Community College’s gymnasium, which is named the Coburn Center in honor of the former PCC coach and athletic director.
“(The explosion) might have got his arm, it might have got his intestines, but it didn’t get his heart,” longtime friend and J.H. Rose High School baseball coach Ronald “RV” Vincent said of Coburn, who spent nine months in the Philadelphia Naval Hospital recovering from the explosion and was awarded a Purple Heart for his service.
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