Charles D. Campion is a minor but pivotal character in the beginning of The Stand. In the 1994 TV miniseries he is played by Ray McKinnon.

Character Biography

"I was gettin' hazard pay, but they ain't paying me enough to hang around here."

Ray McKinnon as Charles D. Campion in the 1994 TV miniseries

Little is known about Campion, other than that he is "patient zero" for the superflu epidemic.

At the beginning of the novel Campion is a member of the military police guarding a top-secret military installation in California. In the TV miniseries, Campion wears the uniform and rank badges of a Specialist (E-4) in the US Army. The facility Campion is posted at is the headquarters for Project Blue, a "black op" government program for developing deadly pathogens to be used for biological warfare.

When one of these organisms — a genetically modified, shifting-antigen strain of influenza, with a "99.4% communicability rate" — escapes containment, the facility goes on lockdown while those within start to die with terrifying speed.

Campion panics, abandons his post, runs to his house, grabs his wife Sally and three-year-old daughter LaVon, and manages to escape through an open gate at the outer perimeter of the base.  Unaware that he has already been exposed to the virus, Campion is about to become the vector through which it enters the general population.

Travelling across four states, Campion and his family sicken; by the time they near the Texas-Arkansas border, Sally and LaVon are both dead. Delirious, Campion reaches the town of Arnette, and crashes his car into the fuel pumps at Bill "Hap" Hapscomb's gas station.

Campion dies en route to the hospital, but not before exposing Hapscomb, the three other men present including Stu Redman, and the Arnette volunteer ambulance crew. 

The virus becomes a national, then a global epidemic, wiping out over 99% of the world's population.

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