Miles is a Son of the American Revolution

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Gary Miles was born in Pahokee but has lived in Okeechobee all his life. He graduated from Okeechobee High School in 1966 and, at that time, the guys had a choice. Either they went to college, or they went into the military, he said. “Everybody I knew didn’t have money to go […]

WWII veteran Smith is 100 years old

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Elzie Smith, who turned 100 last week, served in the Navy during WWII. He was in an aviation outfit, in the Southwest Pacific. He was 21 years old in 1941 and had to be registered. He knew he would rather be in the Navy, because someone he knew had gone in the […]

Veteran Nichols was trained to do whatever he had to do

MOORE HAVEN — WWII veteran Leonard Nichols was born and raised in Arkansas. He joined the Navy when he was 17. There were six boys in the family, and all of them were in the service, three in the Navy and three in the Army. Five of them saw action, and all of them made […]

Vietnam veteran Bill Bond was a frogman

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran William “Bill” Bond remembered when he and his dad watched a movie on television called “The Frogmen,” with Dana Andrews and Richard Widmark. It was a black-and-white movie about Navy frogmen, and after the movie, he turned to his dad and said, “Boy, that’s what I want to do.” His dad, who […]

Air Force Veteran Way was a radar operator

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Nedra Whitten Way was born in Princeton, Ind. She joined the service in 1957, when she was 18 years old. Her plan was to join the Navy, because that was the branch in which her dad, uncle and all of her family had served, but when she went to the nearest recruiting […]

‘Luck of the draw’ sent veteran to Panama

BRIGHTON — Veteran Billie Micco was born and raised in on the Brighton Reservation in Glades County, at least as far as he knows, but he said they didn’t keep very good records around here back then. He went to the old Okeechobee High School, and his name is on the side walk. “Well, it […]

Veteran Preston is young at heart

OKEECHOBEE — Veteran Paul Preston was raised in Kentucky and was attending Southeastern Christian College, but his family was poor, he explained. “Daddy didn’t have enough money to keep me in college, and once you drop out of college and are not carrying 12 credit hours, they pick up on that information real easy. I […]

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 […]