Randy Tucker has a heart for veterans

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Randy Tucker was raised in Okeechobee and joined the Army in 2002. He was a 13MIKE, which is a multiple launch rocket crewman, a rocket launcher on wheels. He went to basic in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and completed his advanced individual training for artillery in Oklahoma. After that, he was deployed to […]

Retired County Judge Bryant once was a Marine

OKEECHOBEE — Many years before he became a judge, Jerry Bryant became a Marine. Although his parents lived in Okeechobee, he was born in Jacksonville, because his mother wanted to be with her parents when she gave birth. He grew up in Okeechobee and graduated during the Vietnam War. At that time, if you did […]

Veteran Gill was part of a band while in the Navy

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Clif Gill grew up in Okeechobee and graduated from Okeechobee High School. Immediately after graduation, he got married, which he said was probably not the smartest thing to do. He and his new bride moved to Wisconsin, and it was a real struggle. He was unable to get a job, and they […]

Veteran Bass remembers Okeechobee as it was

OKEECHOBEE — Born and raised here, J.C. Bass remembers when things were a lot different in downtown Okeechobee. He was born in 1930 near where the American Legion Hall is now, and back then, there was a sawmill there close to the railroad, he said. The railroad used to meander through the center of what […]

Veteran Rodney Stevens has had a great life

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Rodney Stevens was born and raised in Belle Glade and joined the Army in 1970, when he was 25 years old because he got into some trouble and had a choice of going into the service or into jail, and he made the logical choice, he said. His parents were well-respected business […]

M.O. Kent built that house with his own hands

OKEECHOBEE — I have enjoyed and appreciated the articles about our veterans and their service, and recent happenings spurred me to recall one of our mostly unknown veterans, whom very few citizens will remember. Some may have noticed that the little frame house on the southeast corner of Southwest Third Avenue and Southwest 21st Street […]

Veteran Roy Pearce was ready to come home

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Roy Pearce was born and raised in Okeechobee, and was drafted into the Army after high school. He went to Fort Benning, Ga., for basic training and then was sent to Fort Dix, N.J., for Advanced Individual Training as a truck driver. From there, he went to Fort Campbell, Ky., and that […]

Dillehay takes all the men from his unit with him to reunions

OKEECHOBEE — Originally from Indianapolis, Ind., Bill Dillehay was drafted in January of 1967 and was sent to basic at Fort Campbell, Ky., but it was so full that they only spent two days there before they were sent Fort Bragg, N.C. It was funny, he said, because people that were in his unit, B92, […]

Rex Erwin’s family has a long history of service

OKEECHOBEE — Rex Erwin calls himself an Army brat, because his father was a Korea and Vietnam veteran, who did a total of three tours and retired as a sergeant major. He served in the Honduras 173rd Airborne Infantry Division. He was an LRRP (long-range reconnaissance patrol) member in Korea and also served in the […]

Mr. Monroe talked her into the best decision of her life

OKEECHOBEE — Born in West Branch, Mich., but raised in Florida, Melissa Johnson-Martinez moved to Okeechobee when she was about 12 years old, and said she has always loved it here. During her high school years, she said she would describe herself as a little mischievous, not a bad kid, but she barely graduated. She […]