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Community News

  • Miller's military career spanned decades

    David Miller enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July 1958 as a high school senior. He took a flight out of Louisville with two others from Elizabethtown, arriving in San Diego, California, for basic training.

    On the flight to San Diego, he met a young mother traveling with her handicapped daughter. This was the beginning of a long friendship with her and her husband, who was a surgeon at Harbor City Hospital.

    When he received his first weekend pass, his friend Bob picked him up and they toured Hollywood.

  • Bright: Freedom is not cheap

    Gordon Bright, of Sonora, was 20 years old in 1966 when he learned he would be deployed.

    He chose to serve in the U.S. Navy.

    The Army, he said, did “too much walking,” and he didn’t want to fly. He wanted to see the world – and that is what he did.

    “I really loved it, I’ve been to places I will never go back to see,” he said. During the three years he served, his travels included Hawaii, Germany, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

  • Drafted to fight at 11 cents per hour

    At the age of 24, Phillip Atherton, a painter, was drafted to fight in Vietnam. He deployed in October 1966 and returned two years later.

    When he was first deployed, he was scared, he said.

    “They wouldn’t tell me where I was going, but I knew I was going to Vietnam,” said Atherton.

    “(When) I got drafted, I just did what I needed to do to serve my country and got out,” he said.

  • Chester Rock

    Chester Rock, the oldest of 14 children, was drafted to the Army in 1943. Photo taken at Camp Chaffee in Arkansas. He spent three years in Europe with the 14th Army Division, a frontline unit, during World War II. He was discharged in 1945.

  • Kara E. McDowell

    Kara E. McDowell served 1993 to 1994 in the U.S. Army as private first class. She was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Expert Marksmanship Medal.

  • Thomas K. McDowell

    Thomas K. McDowell served in the U.S. Army as a specialist fourth class.

    He served overseas in Okinawa. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2) and Marksmanship Medal.

  • Donald Gene Powell

    Donald Gene Powell served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

    He was born Aug. 24, 1927, to Jed Hayes and Ethel Powell of Hodgenville.

    He and his wife, Frances Gardner Powell, had two children, Pat and Linda.

    He died on Feb. 17, 2003, at the age of 75, and is buried at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in White City. 

  • Huey A. "Tom" Thompson

    Huey A. “Tom” Thompson was a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, serving in Vietnam. He was born Feb. 20, 1947, and died March 17, 2011.

    He received several medals including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

    He is the father of Huey A. Thompson and Gary A. Thompson; and grandfather of Heath and Kendalyn Thompson, and Kaitlyn and Draigen Thompson.

  • James W. McDowell

    James W. McDowell served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant.

    He enlisted July 1935 in the Alabama National Guard. He joined the army in November 1940 and served through July 1945. He was overseas in the Pacific campaign for more than a year.

    He won several awards including Expert Marksman with Carbine, Good Conduct Medal, Army National Guard Component Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Alabama National Guard Faithful Service Medal.

  • Daniel R. Stith

    Daniel R. Stith (May 5, 1911 to Jan. 8, 1984) was a World War II veteran.

    He began active duty on Jan. 6, 1943 with Co. 49th Engineering Combat Regiment at Camp Carson, Colorado.

    During his basic training there, the temperature dropped to 21 degrees below zero. Stith contracted frostbite and pneumonia and was sent to the camp hospital. He was soon shipped out where he would finish his basic training on the battlefield.

    He was pinned down in a foxhole for nearly two weeks, and ate bugs and spiders to stay alive.