In 1967 “Rap” Peavy of Venice Acres was attending the University of South Florida in Tampa when he had to drop out of school because his stepfather suffered a heart attack and he had to get a job to help his family out financially. He lost his draft deferment and became 1-A for the draft. So he decided…
Tyler Crane of Port Charlotte spent nine years in the Army. Some of his service was in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was there until injured by a suicide bomber who drove a truck into their firebase in the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan and blew himself up.
Jim Brand of Ventura Lakes mobile home park south of Punta Gorda, developed a hernia in basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. during World War II and missed the “D-Day Invasion.”
Col. Bob Carroll never mentioned he was awarded a “Silver Star” in Vietnam “For Gallantry in Action.” The Manasota Key, Fla. resident also has an 8 X 10, black and white, framed photograph of President Lyndon Johnson pinning the medal on him at Fort Benning, Ga. The commendation accompanying the medal says it all.
Arturo Rodriguez-Martin recently returned from a three-month tour as a U.S. Army Reserve doctor.
John Brophy of Heron Creek subdivision in North Port at 21 was 6-feet 3-inches tall and 120 pounds when drafted in 1951 during the Korean War. He was too skinny to fight.
When Randy White went into the Army and eventually joined the 325th Paratroop Regiment in 1955 his unit was a far cry from the one that flew into Normandy, France in gliders on D-Day to fight the Germans.
Col. James Oliver Stephenson of Venice, at 93, may be the oldest West Point graduate in southwest Florida.
It’s not every master sergeant who retires from the Air Force after 37 years who receives a Meritorious Service Award from the President of the United States or a personal note on White House stationery signed by the President.