By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer
Bill Marks joined the Air Force in 1952 when he was 19 years old. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
He said joining the military was a way for him to travel. Originally from Minnesota, March was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base and has lived in Clovis for 45 years.
“(Veterans Day) shows, right now, that we’re the greatest force alive,” he said.
Aulton Rose joined the Navy during the Vietnam War when he was about 17 years old.
He said enlisting in the Navy was a way of doing more things.
“I was sick of school, sick of working on the farm, so I joined the Navy,” he said.
He said Veterans Day honors the people that sacrificed their lives for the freedoms many people enjoy.
“Freedom isn’t free,” he said. “You need to honor those that paid the price.”
Fred Johnson served in the Korean War as an Air Force pilot.
He said he enlisted in the Air Force in 1948 because it was a chance to for an
“At that particular time college was out of the question, my father had just died,” said Johnson who signed up for pilot training in 1952.
He met his wife when he was stationed in Cannon Air Force Base. When he retired as a major at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., he and his wife moved back to Clovis.
“She traveled with me for 14 years in the service,” he said. “We came back out here because we liked the area and this was home to her.”
He said Veterans Day has a special spot in his heart for the friends he knew who died in combat.
“I’m no hero,” he said. “I had it pretty easy compared to some of them.”
Robert Baker was a 27-year-old Air Force Staff Sgt. when he was stationed in Thailand in the mid 1960s.
He retired as a Chief Master Sgt. and lives in Clovis with his wife, Isabelle.
Their son Rob also lives in Clovis. Their daughter, Debra Fielder, lives in Lubbock.