Tribute to Veterans


The Jackson High Class of 1964 wishes to pay tribute to our veterans and thank them for their service to our country: Tony Arnold, John Bledsoe, Mike Bledsoe, Dan Farrar, Gary Giles, Charles Hailey, Doug Martin, Billy Smith, Mitchell Spain, Hershel (Buddy) Ware, Don(nie) Williams, and Jack Woodall.  We can't thank you enough for protecting our freedom.


"One picture was in basic training at Ft. Benning Ga.  One was at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland (in front of the tanks) I went to school there to learn how to pull tanks out of mud holes and any place else they decided to break down.  The two larger pictures were taken after I had been assigned as sergeant over our com. section.  It was taken at summer camp.  

I was really fortunate to have spent my entire time in the U.S.  When I went to basic, we were told that we probably would not return home since Viet Nam was going full blast, but when I got my orders they showed me coming back home and I sure was glad.  We did go to Memphis in 1968 after Martin Luther King was killed and rode on fire trucks to protect them.   It was kind of an awakening to point a loaded rifle at a fellow American and threaten to kill them if they came another step closer.   But that’s what we did and thankfully they must have believed us, because we did not have to shoot anyone.   It was a great honor to have worn the uniform of the U.S. Army.   Today I still swell up with pride every time I see my uniform still hanging in the closet.  I believe it would make everyone see their country differently to serve in some kind of service.  Thanks for your time."




“I entered the United States Army on July 29, 1966. I was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington for my Basic and Advance Individual training.  My Advance Individual training was 11B10 or Light Arms Infantry.  I finished my training at Fort Lewis and my commander said they wanted me to go to Fort Knox for more training.  During my time at Fort Knox I was trained to be of the Armored Crewman or 19F20. I also was taught in the Combined Arms School at Fort Knox.  I wanted to stay in the army, but my future wife did not like the army life style.  Well you know who won that war.
I returned to Union University and graduated in 1970, and became a school teacher and coached several sports.  During the time I was attending Union, I enlisted in the National Guard to continue my military life; that part was ok with Sandra at that point in time.   I really enjoyed the military life style and the National Guard gave me a taste of it.  I rose through the ranks and attained the rank of Command Sergeant Major (CSM) the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Army.  I was the CSM of 5 different Battalions from Support to Armored Battalions.

 In 2002, I received a phone call from the Command Sergeant Major of the State of Tennessee, informing me that I was being activated to go to Kosovo with the 101st Airborne Division as the Command Sergeant Major of the 130th RAOC.  I spent one year there serving as the Garrison Command Sergeant Major of Camp Able Sentry, the largest support base in the Balkans.
 I returned home for 1 year and 5 months and was serving as the Command Sergeant Major of the 230th Area Support Group.  I received a call from my commanding officer telling me that we were going to be activated to go to Iraq.  We departed Fort Bragg on September 2004 and arrived at Kuwait.  We then went to Northern Iraq for 8 months, then my unit was sent back to Camp Arifjan,  where I became the Garrison Command Sergeant Major of Camp Arifjan.  I took over as the Command Sergeant Major of the 377th Theater Support Command under the command of Major General Paul Mock.  I served in that position until I returned to the United Sates where my military career ended.  I truly loved serving my country in every position I held.
During my time in service I was awarded the following medals and awards and ribbons;
Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Forces Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army National Guard Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal,  Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forced Reserved Medal, NATO Service Medal
Army Presidential Unit Citation, Army Meritorious Unit Citation, Tennessee Distinguished Unit Citation in time of War
Service Ribbons:
Army Over Seas Service Ribbon, Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon, National Guard War Ribbon, National Guard Individual Achievement Ribbon, National Guard Commendation Ribbon, The Army National Guard's Command Sergeant Major's Award for Excellence”



"Sergeant G. Gary Giles, US Air Force, 1966 -1970

Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas and Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. Electronic Warfare Technician working on B-52’.  Served at Blytheville AFB in Blytheville, Arkansas (97th Bombardment Wing); Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi (Air Training Command), Kadena AFB in Okinawa (320th Bombardment Wing), and Mather AFB in Sacramento, California (Air Training Command attached to the 320th Bombardment Wing).    Primary role in the first two years was troubleshooting and repair of Electronic Warfare equipment primarily on B-52 aircraft.  Supported the deployment of B52 aircraft, and mission support to Kadena AFB, Okinawa, following the capture of the USS Pueblo by North Korea in January 1968.  Ultimately these aircraft were used for Arc Light missions in North Vietnam, and sometimes in support of “Rolling Thunder”.  Possibly my most funny experience occurred in Okinawa where I saw my first 1000lb bombs up close.  I was in the tail gunner position replacing a transmitter when the trucks rolled up below me with the 1000lb bombs on them.  I was fascinated until one of them rolled off and bounced on the flight line pavement.  I set a world record exiting the tail gunner position, not an easy place to get in and out of, and headed out at a hard run before remembering the bombs had to be activated before they would go off.  I didn’t think it was nearly as funny as everyone else did.  Returned to Blytheville AFB and then deployed to Mather AFB to train Electronic Warfare Officers on the use of Electronic Warfare systems and to set up and maintain the training equipment.  Honorably discharged to inactive reserves."



I enlisted in the US Navy in January 1966. I went through basic training, basic electronics school and radio school in San Diego that same year. My first duty assignment as a “Radioman” was at the Naval Communication Station in Asmara, Eritrea (7,600 ft. above sea level). Our quarters were located on the Army post at Kagnew Station. After serving there for 18 months, I was transferred to the USS Bennington, an aircraft carrier, which was home ported in Long Beach, CA. The ship had just returned from a cruise to Southeast Asia. Shortly thereafter, I was sent to firefighting school in San Diego. I completed that training and returned to the ship which had been moved to a dry dock for extensive overhaul. Several weeks later, I was transferred to the Naval Communication Station at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.  I served there for one year.  I was separated from active duty in April 1970.



I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force shortly after graduation in 1964. Basic training was at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, TX).  Next I trained in an AF tech school at Keesler AFB (Biloxi, MS). I became a Telecommunications Specialist, commonly called a tech controller upon graduation in 1965. In simple terms, I was a technician that performed maintenance and troubleshooting on various types of communications systems and circuits. It required a Top Secret clearance, as I had access to some classified information. Knowledge of many pieces of test equipment and the structuring of communications systems were my main topics in training, which I used for about three years - all overseas. 
I served in Germany and Turkey, and my experience in electronics paved the way for my career. When my enlistment was up, I used the GI Bill and some part time work in TV shops to afford college. I received my BSEE at UT of Knoxville in 1973. I was proud of my service and even more proud of my engineering degree. 
I was thankful that I never served in Viet Nam or any war zone. I basically “grew up” in the Air Force and I would never have gone to college without the GI Bill.  It was an honor to serve and the rewards lasted for decades. Thanks Uncle Sam.
One picture above is aTech Control facility where I worked while stationed on Mt. Donnersburg, near Dannenfels, Germany. The USAF site was microwave radio relay site. The bays (on the right side) are called patch bays and most of my troubleshooting was done at a patch bay with test equipment that could be patched into individual comm circuits.  Click on this link that pays tribute to all veterans from every service branch, and from every time period in American History.  These are the brave men and women that have sacrificed to keep this nation free for the last 200+ years and they deserve our respect.  On this site you will find tribute pages for Medal of Honor Recipients, Prisoners of War, Generals and Admirals, as well as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines that nobody has ever heard of...they all performed honorable service to this nation, and many of them gave their life to keep us free.