Boone County, Ark., veterans tell stories of serving their country to community

Published: Nov. 11, 2019 at 4:50 PM CST
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The Bergman High School chorus and band performed for veterans Monday morning, and the local Boy Scout troop presented the colors.

But for the first time at the end of the ceremony in Boone County, veterans could stick around for some jaw jacking at the Lyric Theater downtown.

"Dictionary says 'Saying something but not saying much of anything,'" said Lonnie Anderson, the post commander for the American Legion in Harrison.

The men on stage got a chance to share some of their more lighthearted memories from the service.

"It was the second day I challenged the course and I got a 96 or 97. And I was so happy and so proud until they gave me an extra stripe and kept me there for a 24-week teaching course," said U.S. Army Veteran Fred Woehl.

"He said, 'Where you from?' I said," '56 Arkansas. General Delivery.' The guy behind me laughed out loud. Said, '56 Arkansas? Do people live there?' I said, 'Yeah," said Gene Woody, a U.S. Navy Veteran.

Others shared some of the darker moments.

"After three days at Kent State College, they were having things thrown at them, bricks thrown at them, rocks thrown at them, urine thrown at them," said Anderson.

But the veterans told us it's important to talk about their memories so people can understand and appreciate what they gave up for us to have so much.

"They all raised their right hand, and they took an oath. And they swore an oath to sacrifice their comfort, their safety, and even their lives," Anderson said.

The veterans hope to make this a tradition and have veterans share their stories again next year after the ceremony.