Vietnam Veteran Mike Spaulding spent his time loading bombs on planes

OKEECHOBEE — Vietnam veteran Mike Spaulding was born and raised in Battle Creek, Mich. He graduated from high school in 1966, and then went to school in Indianapolis for tool and dye machine design and graduated in 1968. He knew there was a possibility he could be drafted any day so he took his tests […]

Veteran Holcomb and six siblings were in the service

OKEECHOBEE — A 1944 film “The Fighting Sullivans” did an excellent job portraying the emotions felt by a mother whose five sons all went off to fight in a war and then in a horrifying turn of events, were all killed in the line of duty. Almost every one who goes off to serve his […]

Veteran Jack Sutherland always honored his parents

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Jack Sutherland always thought it was his duty to help his parents and younger siblings, and he believes God blessed him for his faithfulness. Mr. Sutherland was the 10th of 14 children, and when he was 16, he left his home in Dickerson County, Va. to go to NYA Training School. The […]

Veteran Monteith was not afraid to die

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Thomas Monteith made $60 a month during boot camp but said it went “way” up to $72 a month after he got his first ship, the USS Wadsworth DD516. “They pay you a lot more for someone to shoot at you,” he said. Mr. Monteith grew up in East Cleveland, Ohio, and […]

Veteran James Surles volunteered at age 16

OKEECHOBEE — James Surles was 16 years old when he decided it was time for him to join the Navy during World War II, but first he had to convince his mother, and that was not going to be easy. Legally you had to be 17 to join, and even then you needed a parent […]

Veteran Scott Viens enjoyed the ‘super cool secret’ missions

“In hindsight, I probably should have chosen a job that I could have done when I got back home, but I was young and I just wanted to ride around in tanks, shoot things and blow things up,” said Scott Viens. “You don’t think about that when you are young.” Mr. Viens was born in […]