The flags are waving in honor of Memorial Day. The sidewalks are lined with the red, white and blue and it can be seen flying high overhead in specific areas of the communities.
And for the most part when Old Glory is seen flying at homes you can almost bet a veteran lives within. The day is a federal holiday in the United States, set aside for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. It is also a day when many take advantage of a long weekend and can be found packing in last minute fun at the nearest beach, lake or cookout.
There are also those that are not fortunate enough to get outside to enjoy the pleasures marking summer or the respect businesses try to provide for the veterans.
They can be found sitting in the foyer at this particular senior living facility; not a word needs to be said for you to realize you are in the company of veterans. Watchful eyes, quiet demeanor, one proudly wearing military dog tags, the other easily recognized through his demeanor and both seemingly guarding the door against unwanted intruders.
“I am a Veteran,” stated Clovis Hulsey. “I was glad to do it,” he said. A southerner from Alabama, Clovis served three years in the U.S. Army. His basic and AIT training took place in Fort Polk, Louisiana before he spent eighteen months fighting in the Vietnam War.
“It was cold in Louisiana during training,” he remembered. “And the motor and part of the wing fell off while enroute to Vietnam. Yes, we made it to a base close to Qui Nho’n.”
Not much more was said about the war in which he fought but he stated quietly he had lost two good friends. Clovis made his way back to the states after being shot in the shoulder with an AK 17.
“The bullet went straight through,” he said. Once back home he was in Washington for awhile and then spent a little time in Georgia. After discharge, he returned to work in Alabama.
“My family was cultivators,” he said proudly. “We had seventy-five acres of land that we kept planted in peas, corn, and peanuts. We always planted two rows of peanuts, two rows of sweet corn and 30 rows of hard corn. There is also a lot of quail and quail hunting in Alabama,” he smiled in remembrance. After his parents died, Clovis moved to Overton where his brother and sister live. He now lives at the Overton Healthcare Center.
ACROSS the foyer sat Leroy Fohn, U.S. Air Force. He spent a lot of his military time in Japan but has many stories to tell about things not war-related like getting to see Sputnik, the Russian satellite go up and visiting the Emperor’s palace. He proudly shows his dog tags and lets you know the cross he wears on a separate chain is the reason he is alive and sitting in Overton.
“It’s hard to get out and participate in things like Memorial Day stuff when you don’t have a vehicle,” he honestly states. “The Dairy Queen always feeds us for free, those who can walk over there and prove you are a veteran,” he smiled. “Other things we do not get to do outside of the facility.”
PROUD of their service, you bet. Don’t let them or others in facilities elsewhere sit idly by with nothing to do. These two would be ready to load and go and if asked.
IN KILGORE, the Memorial Day Service is set for 9 a.m. on Monday, May 28 at the Harris Street Park’s War Veterans Monument. This year’s keynote speaker will be Maj. Gen. John James Closner III. Patriotic singing will be by Polly Autrey and KPD Sgt. Mitch Autrey. The park is located at 282 E. Harris Avenue, Kilgore, TX.
ARABELLA of Kilgore will be taking any resident that signs up to the Memorial Day Service at Harris Street Park. “We have quite a few that go each year,” said Yami Hale, administrative assistant. “Then we will be feeding them a barbecue lunch.” Sounds good to me, I may need to join them.
MELBA KILLYON, administrator at the Overton Health Care Center had a good time yesterday flipping hamburgers for First Time Responders. Yes, she cooked and helped serve up 58 hamburgers and 32 hotdogs to those who showed up to their annual event. “The only reason I know that, is I was there when we bought the stuff,” she laughed. “We had a good time.”
THE PRIMETIMERS of First Baptist Church of Kilgore performed at Arabella of Longview on Thursday of this week.
“We meet every Thursday at 10 a.m. in the music room and leave from there after practice to go somewhere to perform,” said Martha Smith. “We sing under the direction of David Berryhill and go to various areas. Last week we sang at Arbor Grace of Kilgore.”
“At Arabella we had 3 each performing – 3 sopranos, 3 altos, tenors, bass and one flutist,” she said. “We always have a good time and usually stop to eat on the way back,” she added.
Have a fun, safe Memorial Day and May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. We may be reached at 903-984-2593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.