On November 11, 1919, the first observance of Veterans Day, President Woodrow Wilson expressed the following sentiment: “To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day (Veterans Day) will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”
In 1926, Congress called for the annual observance of Veterans Day, and in 1938, the day was made a legal holiday. From that day forward, November 11 has been a day to honor all the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces and to thank them for their dedication to our nation.
According to the most recent census, there are 18.5 million veterans in the U.S., at least 38 of whom live at Plymouth Harbor and 4 of whom are board members. Here are three of their stories:
After graduating from Vassar College in 1944, resident Sallie VanArsdale joined the women’s division of the United States Navy as part of W.A.V.E.S.: Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. After nine weeks of officer training followed by eight weeks of supply corps training, she was stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. For 22 months during World War II, Sallie ordered supplies that were needed to build and repair naval ships docked at the port. “It was an entirely different life than I had ever lived before,” Sallie said. “Seeing the whole place in operation and being a part of it all was very exciting. The whole country was totally unified.”
Colonel Jamo C. Powell, another resident, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery from Texas A&M University in May 1958 and went on to serve 30 years of active duty. His military career was extensive: He served as a Major during the Vietnam War; commanded the 2nd Battalion, 6th Artillery Regiment in Gelnhausen, Germany; and served as a staff officer at the Pentagon in the Department of the Army. His final assignment before retirement was Deputy Chief of Staff and Personnel for the 2nd United States Army in Atlanta, Georgia.
Colonel Dale Woodling, Plymouth Harbor board member, was a judge advocate general and served in the United States Army for 28 years. He and his wife, who was a nurse, both expected to only serve for one assignment, but it turned into a career. Woodling has dealt with all types of legal matters, ranging from courts-martial to environmental law, and ended his career as Commander of the U.S. Army Claims Service.
Thank you to all of our Plymouth Harbor veterans:
Asterisks denote our board members.
H. Graham Barkhuff
Thomas H. Belcher
Lawrence E. Coffey
Richard P. Carroll
John Cranor III*
Jamo C. Powell
Carl P. Denney
David A. Beliles
James J. Griffith
Richard J. March
William A. Stanford
We did our best to identify all Plymouth Harbor veterans. We know it is possible that some were missed, and we apologize for any who were missed.