Reflections

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.  Veterans Day is just around the corner and as I do each year, I’d like to pay tribute to them.  Water Valley has sent men and women to all of our wars and many made the supreme sacrifice.  The Legion hut was named in honor of Curtis Pass who was killed in France a week before the armistice.  My dad, Norman Cooper, his brothers, Joe and Porter, all were in that war.  Mother’s only brother, Charles Badley was in the famed Battery A.  

He was active in all their reunions in later years.  Well known barbers, Arthur Walker and Marvin Groves served in that war.  Kenneth and Jody Burke’s father, Milton Burke was a WW1 vet.  Mr. Pat Holloway was the last survivor of Battery A. and Mr. Pete Green who ran for sheriff in 1951 was another, and these are just the ones I knew.  In WW11 Jack Craven, Wade Doolin, Gene Meggs, Eddie Nelson, Crip Tyler, Chester Joyner, Barron Caulfield, Sr., Dale Sartain, Jack Gurner, Bruce Gurner, Dude Morris, Spud Boydston, Hervis Hamblett, Harold Allen, former Mayor, L.C. Stewart, Elmo Bagguley, Buddy Hart, Buck Suratt, E.C. Sartain, and Commander Dudley Kelly are the ones I happened to know but there were many others. In the Korean conflict–Harry Truman wouldn’t call it a war but we lost over thirty-eight thousand men–Water Valley was well represented.  

Jim Allen, D.C. Morgan, Bobby Mathis, H.F. Wright, Macon and Glen Barron, Jim Peacock, Kenneth Burke, Earl Babb, my cousin, Melvin Ford, Harold Jenkins, Bobby Poteete, and I were those that I knew well and there were many more.  Water Valley has a proud heritage of men serving their country. Even in the War Between The States I had three great grand-fathers, Elijah Badley, Jr., Jim Spears, and William G. Jumper who was the founder of Jumper’s Chapel church.  In the Spanish American War Papa Badley’s younger brother, Will Badley, along with Frank DeShon, who was Mayor of Water Valley for many years, Charley Hague who worked in the Railroad shops, and Everett Cock who founded the insurance agency that bore his name for many years, and these were just the ones I knew.  I’m proud of Water Valley’s contribution to the defense of our country over the years and I’m proud of my ancestors that had a part in it.  I’m also proud of the fact that the south and southwest produced two of the highest decorated men in history–Alvin York of Tennessee in WW1 and Audie L. Murphy of Texas in WW11.  I never had the privilege of meeting either of these gentlemen but in talking with veterans like Wade Doolin and Chester Joyner I’m sure that they were a lot like them just easy going country boys that did what it took to get the job done.  As Admiral William Halsey once said, “there are no great men, just ordinary men upon which circumstances have placed great responsibilities.”  

I mentioned Commander Kelly and I just learned he has been hospitalized, and he will be in our prayers.  In a 32 year navy career he served in three of our wars.  I want all of you to take a moment to think of all these men who have made possible the way of life we enjoy today.  This is all I felt like writing about this week so keep giving me your ideas and experiences that have been the backbone of this column for nearly seven years.  My email address is charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.

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