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Today's Features

  • 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 (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.

  • Orville C. Gowen Sr. served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1953. The fireman apprentice served aboard the USS Pine Island, one of the 13 ships that were part of Operation Highjump, officially titled “The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program 1946-47.”

    Operation Highjump was a Navy operation organized by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd Jr. in 1946. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships and multiple aircraft. The primary mission of Operation Highjump was to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV.

  • Paul Roark dropped out of high school in 1950 to enlist in the U.S. Army after his brother Harold was drafted. He was in his second year of school.

    The brothers went to Fort Knox in January for training. The weather was 15 degrees below zero.

    After eight weeks of training they were shipped to Korea – where the temperature was minus 15 degrees. The brothers were sent to the front lines about five miles apart.

    Harold was killed.

    Paul’s younger brother David was drafted in 1968 and was sent to Vietnam a couple of years.