Major Adkins Jr. of Fayetteville, U.S. Army, Iraq, awards include the Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart medal, five awards of the Meritorious Service medal, four awards of the Army Commendation medal and the Master Parachutist badge. He is Senior Vice Commander for the Arkansas Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Major Atkins entered military service in February 1980 as an enlisted member of Echo Troop, 151st armored Cavalry Regiment, 39th infantry Brigade, Arkansas Army National Guard. Upon graduation from the University of Central Arkansas in May 1981 Major Adkins was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Quartermaster Corps, in the regular Army and served on active duty until 30 May 2001 when he retired as a Major. After retirement Major Atkins accepted a position as a Department of the Army Contractor to serve as the Battalion Executive Officer/Recruiting Operations Officer for the University of Arkansas Army Reserve Officers Training Program (ROTC). In a four-and-a-half-year period, Major Adkins took a program ranked 267/271 and brought it up to 94/271 and was named as the US Army Cadet Command Recruiter of the Year for 2005. Through his efforts, the UA Army ROTC program was able to expand and cross enrolled students from John Brown University, Northwest Arkansas Community College, UA Fort Smith and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah Oklahoma. in February 2006, Major Adkins was named and “Arkansas Traveler” by then Governor Mike Huckabee for his exceptional achievement in recruiting for both the University of Arkansas and Army ROTC and for his support of Veterans programs in the state of Arkansas.
On 16 November 2005, Major Adkins was notified by the US Army Human Resources Command that he was being recalled to active duty for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom after training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Carson, Colorado, and Fort Hood, Texas, Major Adkins was assigned as Commander/Team Leader of Military Transition Team (MiTT) 0413, Forward Operating Base Poliwoda, City of Balad, Iraq, responsible for the training and equipping of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division. Upon successful completion of that mission, Major Atkins was reassigned as Commander/Team Leader of MiTT 0142, located at India Base, City of Fallujah, Iraq. 27th December 2006, Major Adkins’ team was providing over-watch to 1st company, 2nd battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, moving from Forward Operating Base Muhammad to India Base for further redeployment to Baghdad as part of the surge to protect that City from insurgents and terrorist. While moving through the city of Al Karmah, Iraq, the convoy came under small-arms fire and an attack by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), killing four Iraqi Soldiers and wounding two Iraqi Soldiers, four US soldiers and two US Marines of MiTT 0142. After evacuating the wounded to Forward Operating Base Delta for medical treatment, Major Adkins and the remaining members of MiTT 0142 returned to assist 1st Company in recovering the Iraqi Soldiers killed in action. Again, the convoy came under intense small arms fire. Upon being directed by his Brigade Commander to return to Forward Operating Base Delta, Major Adkins HMMWV was hit by a wire detonated IED hidden in a pothole filled with water, wounding 3 US Army soldiers, one US Marine and one Iraqi Translator. They were able to self recover to FOB Delta but were further evacuated to the US Naval Surgical Hospital located at Camp Fallujah for treatment of their injuries.
Major Adkins was finally able to re-retire on 9 July 2009. On 12th December 2011, nearly five years after being wounded in Iraq, Major Atkins was awarded the Purple Heart. Other awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, five Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, 5 Army Achievement Medals, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Military Volunteer Service Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Parachute Rigger Badge.
In July 2015, Major Adkins was named the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Department of Arkansas Patriot of the year and in August 2015 Region V Patriot of the year. Additionally he has earned the MOPH recruiters pin three years in a row. Through his efforts the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Arkansas is a participating member of the Northwest Arkansas Veterans Coalition.
Major General Arwood of Hot Springs Village, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Desert Storm. Awards include the Distinguished Service medal, the Superior Service medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star medal, two awards of the Meritorious Service medal, and the Parachutist and Air Assault Badges. He was inducted into the Army Quartermaster Hall of Fame in 2012.
Major General Arwood’s military service took him from preparing for a possible Cuban invasion, to Vietnam where he reorganized logistic support from Bangkok to South East Asia and Pacific area to meet a Vietnam higher commitment. He was a logistic advisor to the Saudi Army and was put under Saudi house arrest during the Israel and Arab Nations conflict. He also served in several different areas of command in Germany. During Desert Shield/Storm Major General Arwood was responsible for the logistic planning and execution for buildup, movement and battlefield support for the succe3ss of the conflict. In addition, he was the Army Material Commander with depot elements forward and support logistic teams imbedded with operating divisions. He assembled an Army Materials Command Support Package for deployment to Somalia and functioned as their overall commander. Before Major General Arwood retired he was asked to serve as Army Materials Commander forward to execute humanitarian relief operations for Hurricane Andrew. During his military service Major General Arwood earned many different awards including: Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Army Meritorious Service Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), Humanity Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (4 stars), Overseas Service Medal, Vietnam Distinguished Unit Citation, Army Meritorious Unit Citation, and German Cross in Gold (presented by the Federal Republic of Germany).
LT. Colonel Barnes, deceased, Alma, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, WWII and Korea, and Vietnam. Awards include two Bronze Star medals, the Air medal, the Army Commendation medal and the WWII Victory medal. He established the Home of Hope, a residential care and counseling center in Alma.
His story is simply amazing. Born into obscure property, he enlisted and started his journey of military service. He was honored with many awards and medals. His last tour of Duty was Vietnam. He worked tirelessly to put soldiers' lives back together. He counseled hundreds going through difficult times. He was a beloved Chaplain. His most heartbreaking story was a stark reminder how our country felt about US veterans then and how we feel today has a nation. As he said his goodbyes to his men, and made his final trek back to America, he was asked to change from his uniform to civilian before he got to the San Francisco airport so it would not offend people. He left that scene in tears and never got over that.
Not only did he serve in the Army but he also served in the Air Force from 1949-1953. Dr. Barnes received the bronze star in 1970 and retired from active duty in 1975, when he became the chaplain for the Oklahoma City Police Department. His service there was highly decorated. He retired from that duty and came to Alma, Arkansas. He became a full-time counselor for the First Baptist Church. There he helped the church create the Home of Hope. A residential care and Counseling Center, he retired for a third time.
Dr. Barnes was not done yet, even though in his 80s he became a volunteer for the Alma Boys and Girls Club. Each afternoon even sit with boys and girls whose home lives were in shambles. Many times he used his own money to assist the child in need. He loved his military Heritage and carried out to the fullest a for God and Country. He was a patriot that never stopped caring about the returning vets.
First Lieutenant Bell of Searcy, U.S. Army, Vietnam. Awards include two Bronze Star medals, the Army Commendation medal for valor, and the Air medal. He served 28 years as a Veterans counselor for the Arkansas Employment Security Division and raised funds for the U.S. Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
First Lieutenant Bell first served as an enlisted man, and then received a direct commission in the United States Army completing this time in service as a First Lieutenant. While in the US Army he served as a Platoon Leader and Company Commander in Vietnam. He earned the Army Commendation Medal with V for Valor, Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal for 25 combat assaults, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Combat Infantry Badge, National Defense Service Medal, and the Sharpshooter award.
Lieutenant Bell was recognized in an article published by Searcy Living titled A Promise Made A Promise Kept. In 1968, Lieutenant Bell dropped out of Arkansas State University after spending almost nine semesters in college study. He left school and enlisted in the Army and in January 1969 shipped off for basic training. He promised his mother he would return to school to finish his degree. On May 9th 2015 he fulfilled his promise graduating from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with his son, grandson and wife proudly watching. His graduation day coincided with Mothers Day weekend.
Captain Boss, deceased, Green Forest and Fayetteville, U. S. Army, Vietnam, awards include the Silver Star medal for gallantry, two awards of the Bronze Star medal for valor, the Air medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Infantryman Badge.
On 18 July 1967 Captain Boss was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Vietnam. The citation for that award reads as follows:
Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, the unit under the command of Captain Boss, was moving East through a dense jungle when the leading platoon made contact with an estimated Vietnamese Army Company at about 1200 hours. A fierce firefight ensued in which eight enemy soldiers were killed and 10 members of Captain Boss’ company were winded. When his lead elements became engaged, Captain Boss immediately raced forward to assume personal leadership of the critical situation disregarding substance sniper fire. He immediately instructed his artillery forward observer to commence heavy firing on the enemy and simultaneously called for an airstrike into the area. Correctly evaluating the Tactical situation, Captain Boss disengaged his command and moved his company to the west where the wounded were evacuated. At 1505 hours, Captain Boss resumed his advance to the east. As his 3rd platoon advanced, they again made contact with an estimated North Vietnamese Army Company. Once again, disregarding the intense small arms and severe mortar fire directed against his platoon, Captain Boss moved forward and calmly evaluated the tactical situation. Realizing that he could not maneuver responsibly in the extremely dense jungle, he instructed his first and second platoon to withdraw in order to maneuver to the northeast and attack the enemy positions from the flank. As the platoons began moving, they were engaged with a heavy volume of sniper and automatic weapons fire from the rear and blank, as well as continued fire from the front. Recognizing that his company was in contact with a North Vietnamese Army Battalion size force, Captain Boss directed the position of the first and second platoon into the west and north side of the small landing zone as the beginning of a company defensive perimeter. The elements in the landing zone were attacked by “human waves” of determined and frantic enemy, but withstood the assault. Captain Boss personally coordinated the artillery fires being fired around the perimeter disregarding the risk in continuously exposing himself to the heavy volume of rifle, automatic weapons and mortar fire which appeared to fill the landing Zone. he completely disregarded the enemy fire and positioned himself in the open, in the center of his unit so that he could continue to exercise control and command over all elements of the company. He refused to take advantage of available cover, and remained, throughout the rest of the savage fight, in full view of the enemy in order to best conduct the battle. Despite the fact that voice commands to his subordinate leaders drew immediate and intense sniper and rocket fire, Captain Boss calmly and unhesitatingly called his orders to his subordinates.mortar fire all around him, wounding him in the face. Disregarding his injury, Captain Boss continued to direct defense in the same firm and cool manner until the enemy withdrew. His unit took fifty casualties, but killed 150 of the enemy. Captain Boss never wavered, but calmly and gallantly fought with his company in the face of fierce and determined enemy efforts to overrun his position. Captain Boss’ heroism is in keeping with the highest Traditions the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army
Staff Sergeant Waldo Gearld Fisher of Van Buren, U.S. Army, Vietnam, awards include the Silver Star medal for bravery, the Bronze Star medal, the Air medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge, He received the Vietnam Veterans of America National Commendation medal and has served 14 years as President Chapter 416 of Vietnam Veterans of America in Ft. Smith.
Three decades ago, the Fort Smith National Cemetery was in need of someone to put American Flags on the gravestones for Memorial Day. Staff Sergeant Fisher, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Association Chapter 467, asked if his students could place the flags. With some reluctance, SSgt Fisher and his students at Darby Junior High School were given permission to decorate the National Cemetery. With the orders to take care of the cemetery, SSgt Fisher started teaching his student about flag protocol, wy it is important for the cemetery to be decorated during Memorial Day, and what it means to the families of the fallen veterans as well as the community. Students were selected to participate based on scholarship, behavior, and their willingness to give back to the community. SSgt Fisher’s students took the instruction give to them about the importance of the activity and delivered beyond expectations. The students did such an outstanding job, they were asked to return the following year. Darby Junior High School students continued to take care of the National Cemetery for the remaining time of SSgt Fisher’s teaching career at Darby Junior High School. The “Flag Trip” as it is known at Darby took on a completely new meaning for SSgt Fisher the last couple of years he was at Darby. SSgt Fisher’s son, Dustin, was killed in action in Iraq. His remains were buried at the Fort Smith National Cemetery. With Dustin being buried at the National Cemetery, the flag trip became personal. SSgt Fisher would tell all of the students how it made him feel seeing a flag on his son’s grave. He would always ask students if they had relatives buried at the National Cemetery and allow them to go out before any of the other students and place a flag on the grave of their relatives. He wanted the trip to be personal for the students. When SSgt Fisher retired from teaching, the flag trip did not stop. The Social Studies department has adopted the flag trip and made sure the legacy of SSgt Fisher’s service project continued. Even though SSgt Fisher stepped away from the classroom, he is still actively involved. Along with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter, SSgt Fisher still teaches students about the importance of the project and what it means. He greets students every year at the cemetery and teaches them the history of the project along with the importance of giving back. Prior to Memorial Day 2016, over 140 students placed over 13,000 flags on graves at the National Cemetery. Each grave was given the special attention it deserved. This is done because of Staff Sergeant Waldo Fisher.
Master Sergeant Graves of Harrisburg, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam, awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Commendation medal, and eleven awards of the Air medal. that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
Thomas Graves initially enlisted in the United States Navy Resr4erve 29 May 1949 and subsequently enlisted in the Regular United Sates Air Force on 22 December 1051 and retired 9 March 1972. On 10 August 1965 while on operations in the Republic of Vietnam Staff Sergeant Graces earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The narrative reads as follows: Staff Sergeant Thomas K. Graves distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a C-123 Flight Mechanic at Chaudron, Republic of Vietnam on 10 August 1965. On that date, while engaged in a critical emergency resupply mission, the predesignated assault strip was declared insecure, necessitating the implementation of aerial drop procedures for which the aircraft was improperly crewed and equipped. In the face of overwhelming obstacles, Sergeant Graves assisted in fashioning a drop gate from an extra seat belt and helped jettison the cargo while closely monitoring aircraft systems, completing the delivery of ammunition with outstanding success to prevent the overrun of a strategic Special Forces camp by hostile troops. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by sergeant Graves reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
First Lieutenant Johnson, deceased, Fort Smith, U.S. Army, WWII and Korea, awards include the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism, two Purple Heart medals, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater campaign medal.
On 14 October 1951 First Lieutenant James B. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions in Korea. The narrative reads as follows:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Infantry) James B. Johnson (ASN: 0-1335426), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with Company L, 3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry), 1st Cavalry Division. First Lieutenant Johnson distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Chup'a-ri, Korea, on 6 September 1951. On that date, Lieutenant Johnson led his platoon across the Imjin River under an extremely heavy enemy mortar and artillery barrage in an effort to relieve Company K, which had been subjected to fierce enemy attacks for several hours. Making his way to the company's defensive area, Lieutenant Johnson quickly deployed his men to protect a flank of the perimeter. Almost immediately, the platoon was attacked by the enemy but, despite the intense hostile artillery, mortar and automatic-weapons fire, the men successfully defended their sector, repulsing the enemy with heavy casualties. After this attack, Lieutenant Johnson led his men in an assault against an enemy-held ridge line, but a heavy volume of hostile fire forced a withdrawal. Although painfully wounded, Lieutenant Johnson reorganized his men and led them in a second assault against the hostile positions. During this assault, he was again wounded when he courageously shielded one of his men from an exploding grenade. Undaunted, Lieutenant Johnson continued to lead the advance until mortally wounded by mortar fragments. His heroic actions so inspired his men that the ridge line was subsequently captured from a vastly superior number of hostile troops.
Lieutenant Jones, deceased, Fayetteville, U.S, Navy, WWII. He flew multi engine aircraft against Japanese forces in the South Pacific near the Solomon Islands. An internationally renowned architect, he was the 18th American to ever receive the Gold medal from the American Institute of Architects in1990. He designed over 200 buildings, including the Thorncrown chapel, and taught in the U. of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture for 35 years.
Lieutenant Euine Fay Jones was a qualified Naval aviator service at Naval Air Station Alameda California, Solomon and New Hebrides Island, Naval Air Station San Diego, California, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.
After his time in the US Navy Lieutenant Jones became an internationally renowned architect from Arkansas. He was ordered the 1990 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his lifetime of architectural achievement. The AIA Gold Medal is the highest individual honor the institution can bestow on an architect. He is only the 18th American and the 48th person in the world to receive this award since its inception 83 years ago. The Gold Medal was presented to Lieutenant Jones by President George Herbert Walker Bush in a ceremony at the White House on February 22nd, 1990. President Bush spoke admiringly of Lieutenant Jones architecture; “Grounded firmly in his Ozark roots, Fay Jones has created a truly American architecture that is respected the world over. His reverence for the land and his respect for the inner needs of the people who visit or dwell in his buildings give his architecture rare beauty and dignity.” At the Gold Medal ceremony the keynote address was delivered by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles, A world-renowned architectural critic, praised Lieutenat Jones’ architect talent: “Fay Jones' buildings speak of the poetry of architecture, a poetry arised out of buildings in harmony with their natural surroundings. They seem to evoke the amplitude of nature without damaging nature.”
Lieutenant Jones had designed more than 200 buildings, mostly residential. He is perhaps best known for his Chapels, particularly his first Chapel, the highly-acclaimed Thorncrown Chapel, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Thorncrown Chapel has received numerous accolades and awards since its completion in 1980. In 1981, it received a prestigious AIA National Honor Award. In 1991 a national survey conducted by Architectural Record Magazine, Thorncrown Chapel was voted the best work of American architecture since 1980. In 2000, the AIA recognized Thorncrown Chapel as the fourth most significant structure of the 20th century. In 2006 Thorncrown Chapel was named to the AIA exclusive list of 25 year award buildings. This award recognizes one project completed between 25 and 35 years ago, that has endured the test of time as an embodiment of architectural excellence and enduring significance.
From 1966 to 1974 Lieutenant Jones served as Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. 1974-1976 he served as the first Dean of the School of Architecture. In 2009 The University of Arkansas officially named the Architecture Department as the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Private First Class Kapica, Hot Springs, U.S. Army, WWII, D-Day at Omaha Beach, awards include Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal with two battle stars. Also the Order of the Legion of Honor (France).
On 6th June 1944 PFC Kapica, by then an operational amphibious combat engineer, was part of a five-man combat engineer team dispatched aboard a 30 man landing craft bound from Normandy in the “first tide” (initial wave) of assault troops. Assigned a lane of the “Easy Red” sector of Omaha Beach, PFC Kapica’s primary objective was to eliminate partially submerged impediments using explosive charges to create an unobscured landing zone for assault troops and equipment soon to follow. This portion of the beach was the primary landing area for the First Division (Big Red One). The Easy Red sector was ultimately exploited as the most densely traveled path inland from Omaha Beach for American Troops and supplies
After demolishing his allotment of obstacles, he finally reached the beach and then Freeholder said he was “ not to be killed.... Until the quota of obstacles was destroyed.” PFC Kapica proceeded across Omaha Beach under intense fire until he reached the “shingle”, and natural seawall, where he and other survivors of the first wave found themselves pinned down by German Gunners, utterly unable to exit the beach. PFC Kapica, felt his position untenable, and he feared other combat engineers had failed to follow their orders “not to be killed”, and crossed back over the beach, collecting demolition charges along the way. He used these in good effect and removed additional obstacles from the beach itself. The holes he created in the sand by destroying impediments were quickly improved by hand and used as improvised foxholes by men desperate for cover of any kind. By the time he had exhausted his Collective supply of explosives, an exit had been created, and PFC Kapica crossed a third time under fire and managed to leave the beachhead unwounded.
On 21 January 1945, PFC Kapica received orders to join the 101st Infantry Regiment of the 26th Infantry Division (Yankee Division), 3rd Army (Patton’s), then operating in Luxembourg pushing the German Army back into pre-bulge territories. In the bitter cold and deep snow of the early morning of 24 January 1945, near the village of Weicherdanger, Luxembourg-and on only the third day after joining his new command-PFC Kapica And other replacements in his Under-Strength Squad advanced toward the front lines. As they rounded a curve, they walked into an ambush of concealed German heavy-machine guns. The squad was cut down. Wounded severely, PFC Kapica somehow managed to burrow into the deep snow, shielded by the bodies of his dead companions. Ironically, the brutal weather conditions likely aided his survival by freezing/clotting his blood and slowing his pulse. He was unconscious that evening when the steam of his breath was seen rising from the power of frozen dead bodies. dug from the snow, he was whisked to an aid station and evacuated to a field Hospital. Eventually transported to Paris for surgery, PFC Kapica was later flown to England and Weeks Later, was shipped to New York. He remained hospitalized for the remainder of 1945 and into 1946. He received an honorable discharge on 22nd March 1946 in Chicago.
Only recently, the Republic of France has recognized PFC Kapica with the rank of Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor--that nation’s highest and most prestigious distinction--for his selfless service on the beaches of Normandy and in later action in Luxembourg on the final day of the Battle of the Bulge, where he was seriously wounded in combat, effectively ending his military career.
First Lieutenant McCarty of Bald Knob, U.S. Army, Iraq, awards include the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star medal for valor, the Bronze Star medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, and the Purple Heart medal.
On 29 July 2005 First Lieutenant Michael J. Mccarty was awarded the Silver Star for actions in Iraq on 20 November 2004. The citation for that award reads as follows:
For gallantry in action against an armed enemy on 20 November 2004, while service as a Platoon Leader for 3rd Platoon, Company C, 3d Battalion, 153d Infantry. During an attack by a numerically superior force against the Adhamiyahh Iraqi Police Station. First Lieutenant McCarty showed indomitable courage and aggressive leadership, Directing his platoon of twenty-six soldiers and facing rocket propelled grenades, medium machine guns, and small arms fire. First Lieutenant McCarty repeatedly demonstrated a great warrior spirt and complete disregard for his own personal safety, by continually uncovering him self in order to acquire targets and direct fire at one point charging and destroying an enemy machine gun team without support. His actions were responsible for saving American lives, destroying enemy forces, and preventing the capture of an Iraqi Police Station. First Lieutenant McCarty's heroic performance is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, the 39th Brigade Combat Team, the 1st Cavalry division, and the United States Army.
Private First Class Noland, deceased, Fayetteville, U.S. Army, WWII. Awards include the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal with three battle stars, the WWII Victory medal, and the Combat Infantryman and Expert Infantryman Badges. He served 43 years as Professor and Department Head of the U. of Arkansas Animal and Poultry Sciences Department, authored 200 publications and served 5 years as mayor of Fayetteville.
Dr. Paul Noland was raised in a small rural farming community in Laura, Illinois. His military service took him from Fort Polk, Louisiana across the Atlantic to Europe where he and others of his generation lead the American Forces to their victory. During that time, he served in campaigns from the Ardennes Forest in Belgium to the Rhineland in Germany. His company experienced a casualty rate of 1:3. After his military service he used his G.I. Bill to obtain both his bachelor and master degree from the University of Illinois. Upon completion of his PhD at Cornell University in March 1951, he had three job opportunities, the University of Tennessee, University of Hawaii, and the University of Arkansas. Dr. Noland and his wife settled in Fayetteville where they raised their four sons. From 1955 until 1957 Dr. Noland accepted the opportunity with the University of Arkansas and U.S. Department of Agriculture to live and work in a rural community in Panama on an agricultural mission. While he was there he worked with other U of A representatives to help develop a research program in animal nutrition and management that spurred the growth of the agricultural industry in Panama. Dr. Noland was recognized with two awards for his work in Panama. In 1997 he was awarded the “Amador Awards” and in 2009 he was awarded the “Vasco Nunez de Balboa” award. While he was in Fayetteville he was a member of many civic organizations: Lion’s Club (50+ years), Fayetteville Youth Baseball Association President, Boy Scouts of America-District Chairman, Washington County Historical Society, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity-Advisor and Member of Housing Corporation (25 years), University of Arkansas-Faculty Representative on both the Athletic Committee and Standards Committee, Fayetteville City Board/Council (13 years), and City of Fayetteville Mayor (5 years).
Major General Porter of Walnut Ridge, deceased, U.S. Army, two combat tours in Vietnam, awards include the Distinguished Service medal, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star medals for valor, Purple Heart medal, and 25 awards of the Air medal. Made over 100 military parachute jumps and commanded the 82nd Airborne Division.
He started as a young private and rose to the rank of Major-General. Eventually becoming the Commanding General of the elite 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg North Carolina. He served in various levels of command, from rifle platoon through an Airborne Division. He was a graduate of the United States War College. He served two combat tours in Vietnam. Throughout his career he served as Brigade Commander in the 82nd, division Chief of Staff, Assistant Division Commander and Deputy Commander General of the 18th Airborne Corps, and again was Command General of the 82nd Airborne until his injury. He has made over 100 military jumps. His military awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with V-device and one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Berlin), Army Occupation Medal (Berlin), Vietnamese Service Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm, and the Vietnamese Civic Actions Honor Medal. He has numerous letters of commendation and other citations. He also was an inductee into the Hall of Honor, ROTC at Arkansas State University.
His military funeral was a little different than the normal protocol for deceased military personnel. By his request, Taps was played at the very beginning of his funeral, signifying that this life is over. Reveille was played at the end of the service to signify a new life started in Heaven.
Captain Vanlandingham of Mt. Judea, U.S. Army, Bosnia and Iraq, awards include the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action, the Meritorious Service medal, two awards of the Army Commendation medal, and three awards of the Army Achievement medal.
John Vanlandingham joined the U.S. Air Force in 1992 and served for five years. He subsequently joined the Arkansas Army National Guard, completed Officer's Candidate School, and received his commission in 1999. He was federalized from the Arkansas National Guard for combat duty in Iraq. On May 21, 2007 Captain Vanlandingham was awarded The Silver Star. The narrative for his award reads:
Captain (Field Artillery) John F. Vanlandingham, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 14 November 2004, in Iraq. On that date Captain Vanlandingham was leading a convoy from an oil refinery back to a United States area of operations north of Taji, Iraq, including about 50 Iraqi National Guard troops in several vehicles that had no protective armor, making the vehicles and occupants susceptible to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Two IEDs exploded, signaling an ambush, and several insurgents began attacking with small-arms fire. Captain Vanlandingham's vehicle, the convoy lead, escaped the ambush and motored to safety, but he and the troops with him immediately realized that the Iraqi soldiers were caught in the attack. Captain Vanlandingham directed American forces to suppress the enemy fire as he made his way into a ditch and back toward the Iraqi troops, retrieving several wounded and at least one dead Iraqi soldier along with several weapons. After accounting for all personnel, he reorganized the convoy, leading the way back to the U.S. area of operations to secure medical treatment for the wounded. The Iraqi troops had suffered severe injuries, and without quick medical attention, they likely would have died. Without regard to his own personal safety, Captain Vanlandingham's actions saved the lives of several Iraqi National Guard soldiers. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Captain Young of Mena, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, awards include the Defense Superior Service medal, two awards of the Meritorious Service medal, and three awards of the Navy Commendation medal for valor. He commanded American Legion Post 18 in Mena for 12 years, and was the Mena/Polk County “Citizen of the Year”.
Captain Young entered military service as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy with the Class of 1969. Following graduation and selection for Naval Aviation training, he successfully earned his “Wings of Gold” in December 1970 as a helicopter pilot. His “winging” ceremony included the presentation of orders to the Navy’s only helicopter gunship squadron headquartered in the Mekong Delta of the Republic of Vietnam. As an attack helicopter aircraft commander and fire team leadr4er in Vietnam. Captain Young flew 439 combat missions in support of ground and riverine forces; including several intense SEAL operations and medical evacuation missions.
Captain Young’s aviation operational history was unique in that he served in seven consecutive operational squadrons flying helicopters, attack jet aircraft and multi-engine aircraft. His sea tours included two Western Pacific tours with LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System) flying from small destroyers and frigates. He was the youngest junior officer appointed as Officer-In-Charge of a forward deployed LAMPS detachment.
Following retirement from the U.S. Navy after over twenty-six years of commissioned service, Captain Young settled in Mena, Arkansas in 1995 where he and Peggy, his wife of forty-six years, have enjoyed small-town country living and becoming part of a great community.
Captain Young’s contributions to the community began almost immediately as he volunteered with the local youth sports programs and serving seniors with the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program with AARP. He soon started more extensive volunteer service in Mena with Healthy Connections, a new start-up non-profit organization he founded. Working with child abuse and pregnant and parenting teens programs. His tem quickly recognized the critical need for affordable medical and dental care for people in poverty in and around the community. He also was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Connections. During his tenure, he wrote grant proposals that totaled over $11,000,000 in federal, state and corporate support for this non-profit organization. Healthy Connections, Inc. currently provides quality service in five separate locations in Polk, Montgomery, and Garland Counties and employs nearly 100 employees serving over 17,000 patients a year.