City: High Point
Service time: December 1949- July 1972War: Korean War, 1950 and 1951, including Inchon Landings and the Chosin Reservoir battle; Vietnam War, 1967 and 1968, including the Tet Offensive
Branch of service: U.S. Marine Corps
Military unit: 1st , 2nd and 3rd Marines Divisions
Where served: Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Vietnam and various posts stateside
Highest rank: Gunnery sergeant
Decorations: Combat Action with Star; Presidential Unit Citation with three Stars; Navy Unit Commendation Medal; Good Conduct Medal with four Stars; National Defense Medal with two Stars; Korean Service Medal with six Stars; Vietnam Service Medal with three Stars; U.N. Korean Service Medal; Korean Presidential Unit Citation; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Combat Service Commemorative Medal; Vietnam Commemorative Medal; 50th Anniversary Korean Defense Medal; U.S. Marine Corps Service Commendation; U.S. Armed Forces Retired Service Medal
Special experiences: "The Chosin Reservoir area was cold, and the wind blew all the time. Daytime temps were more than 30 degrees below zero - nighttime temps were 40 degrees or more below zero. Corpsmen had to carry morphine in their mouths to keep it from freezing. All guns had to be stripped of all lubrications and the engines of our trucks could not be shut off for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Otherwise they would freeze and could not be used. The diesel engine trucks had to have gasoline mixed with diesel fuel, otherwise it would become so thick it would not pass through the filters. The only positive thing about the cold was that if you were wounded, you would not bleed to death - your blood would freeze. The red Chinese controlled the high ground and they really suffered from the cold more than we did. They quickly learned that when they killed a GI or found one dead, they would take their boots and anything else (he had on) to keep warm."
Thoughts on war: "When you are young, you size up war in a different way. I was determined to join the greatest fighting force in the world, the United States Marine Corps. I am very glad I did. I was part of a great team. Now that I am older, a father and a grandfather, I believe that war is a terrible way to settle disputes. It is a lose-lose situation even for the winners. It kills innocent people, causes so much damage, and costs so much. I just long for the day people can learn to live together in peace."
Which college/vocational school: Greensboro Technical Institute, 1972-1973
Civilian career: Duke Power, 1973-1987
Retirement career: Retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 21 years of service. Retired from Duke Power after 13 years.