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Community Spotlight: Charlie Dean

In honor of Memorial Day – and in gratitude to all the men and women who have served our country past and present – we would like to introduce you to one very special member of the 12 Oaks community: Charlie Dean. We asked Charlie to share a little background on his over two decades of service in the U.S. Navy, as well as his life today.

First of all, thank you very much for your service to our country. Where were you stationed during your time in service?

I served in the U.S. Navy for a total of 21 years. Five of those were on active duty, sixteen in the ready reserve. My active duty consisted of flight training related to the Grumman A-6 Intruder, a twin-engine jet aircraft designed to deliver ordnance on designated targets in all kinds of weather. The aircraft operated with a crew of two, a pilot and a bombardier-navigator (B/N). I was the B/N, and as such, I was responsible for delivering our payload on time, on target. Our squadron was deployed aboard the USS America during the conflict in Vietnam. I’m happy to report that my 130 (+/-) launches equaled my traps.

I chose not to augment from the reserves to the regular Navy, but continued my service in the airborne ready reserves, and transitioned from the attack Navy to the patrol Navy. Our patrol squadron flew the Lockheed P-3 Orion conducted anti-submarine missions, tracking the Soviet submarine threat. Our two-week active duty cruises took us to Rota, Spain, Lajes, Azores, Bermuda, and Iceland. I ended my Navy career as a war games umpire specializing in battle damage assessment at the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

How has your military service impacted your life today?

I realized very early on that my military service has given me a grounding experience that cannot be easily explained to those who have none.  Not many people can say that they have pulled SAM missile shrapnel out of the empennage of their aircraft, completed their mission, and brought the beast back to a pitching and rolling carrier, in the middle of the night. Life and death experiences involved with combat aviation (and flying in general) depend on your ability and skill to make intelligent decisions in a heartbeat, if you ever want to survive those moments of sheer terror while in harm’s way. It also helps to be lucky, but you can never depend on luck. Preparation improves the odds.

And so, I feel the impact of my stint in the military has made me realize how important it is to be prepared for future situations. You have to perform a thorough analysis defining and dealing with problems big and small. All possible outcomes, upside and downside, depend how well you plan for them.

Tell us a little bit about your life today, how do you enjoy spending your free time?

I am retired, so there is a lot of free time, they tell me. I’m trying to delay the decay that tends to accompany us as we age. So, I find myself playing squash as best I can, walking the golf course here at 12 Oaks, and augmenting bike rides with at least an hour’s worth of elliptical training and once a week lifting weights (with a trainer). I also am taking Short Game lessons from Ian Renas, hoping that this will save me a few strokes on this challenging golf course we have here.

We love this community and have developed many friendships that naturally occur among those who love the game of golf. Our son and daughter-in-law also live in the 12 Oaks neighborhood, and thus we relish the visits from our twin (two boys) grandchildren. My wife, Deb, has retired. But I think she is even busier than ever… busy writing novels, as well as researching the genealogy of her Irish and Scottish forebears. Oh, I forgot quilting. I’m not much help with that, but she has allowed me to edit her literary works and I really enjoy helping in the publishing process.

We are travelers. Deb and I have played golf in all fifty states, several provinces in Canada, as well as Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Our big trip this year will focus on Ireland. We will be doing some genealogical research, visiting friends, and attending The Open held at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland.

What is one of your favorite things about living in 12 Oaks?

We moved here ten years ago from the Boston area.  We reasoned that it would be hard to pass up a community that boasted of a Nicholas-designed golf course. We thought that when the market rebounded, 12 Oaks would be a prime location. That has come to fruition! The proximity to I-540, the new shops in the Grand Hill Place, and of course, the Club at 12 Oaks all contribute to a very satisfying living experience.

Keep an out for Charlie around the golf course… and be sure to thank him (and all of our veterans and active-duty military residents) for their service.

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Five Must-Do Outdoor Experiences in 12 Oaks

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to enjoy the many outdoor experiences that our community has to offer. Whether you’re looking to get some exercise or just bask in the sunshine and warm weather, 12 Oaks residents are never far from their next outdoor adventure! Ready to get started? Here’s five simple ideas to get you started:



Chase birdies… on the golf course.

For those looking to get outside and hit the links, it doesn’t get much better. 12 Oaks is anchored around an epic 7,000+ yard Nicklaus design course that is a scenic beauty. Water comes into play on several holes, challenging the more skillful player with a “go for broke” shot while at the same time offering the more risk-averse player a bail-out area.




Slide over to the pool for a dip.

When it’s time to cool off under the warm Carolina sunshine, look no further than the pool. Residents of all ages can enjoy two pools within 12 Oaks. Toddlers will love the zero-entry and splash tower, and the kids will never tire of the two-story waterslide. The pools offer junior Olympic lap lanes, ample chaise lounges and sun umbrellas. Hungry? Stick around for lunch or dinner at the Poolside Grille!




Take a walk, run, or ride along the trails.

If it’s nature (and a little bit of exercise) you seek, then explore the wonderland right outside your door. Over 20 miles of trails wait to greet you through rolling hills and plains that connect streets, cart paths and trails while threading past ponds and creeks. Grab a bike, or lace up your running shoes, and hit the trail!





Grow and grab some fresh veggies at the Community Garden.

Spring recipes call for spring ingredients! The 12 Oaks garden offers community plots that service both The Club and residents alike. On any given day, you may see the chef from The Club gathering fresh ingredients or young children learning the tricks of the trade from our Garden Director.




Hit the courts.

We offer six lighted tennis courts for all-season play, four Har-Tru® hydro clay courts and two hard courts featuring QuickStart lines for juniors. Our tennis camps, clinics, training, round robins, and social events feature expert instruction by elite tennis professionals. Ready to try your hand at a new sport? Check out our complex of three lighted hydro clay pickleball courts open year around!




12 Oaks offers neighbors and residents numerous ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

So get up… get out… and explore all there is to enjoy just outside your door!

Come Visit

Discover your dream home. 12 Oaks is a quiet neighborhood with available new homes that are perfect for your family. Come, let us show you around.

Mon: By Appointment | Tue-Fri: 10-4 | Sat: 11-5 | Sun: 1-5