The bugle never stops

op willisOne day recently as I was walking through the parking lot at Waynesville Middle School, a car slowly pulled up beside me. I turned, and when the driver rolled down his window, I saw that it was an elderly gentleman in a World War II uniform.

Veteran reflects on World War II, life and poetry

coverHe got to me before I could get to him.

Turning into the large parking lot of the Canton Ingles last week, Paul Willis was already stepping out of his car to greet me. At 95, he’s as spry and vibrant as someone a third of his age. And before I could exit my vehicle and properly introduce myself, Willis had his hand extended into my open window.

Remembering the fallen

fr WW2websterWhen William Guffey’s name was first etched on the stone face of the monument outside the old Webster School — along with those of his 10 fallen classmates — the year was 1951, the wounds of World War II were fresh and his niece Barbara Sutton Bennett was a senior at the school.

Honoring our finest: Veteran stories, war artifacts a reminder of sacrifices

coverVeterans Day is a time set aside each year to honor the people who have put their lives on the line to protect the freedom of others. Each veteran, whether they served in World War II or Iraq, have a different story to tell. This year, a female veteran and one Cherokee tribal elder share their experiences of serving in WWII while leaders of veteran organizations discuss the challenges of staying relevant to younger generations of service men and women. 

Veterans’ groups struggle for relevancy with younger generation of servicemen

fr veteransWhen Bobby Rathbone came home from Vietnam over 40 years ago, joining a veterans group was the last thing on his mind. Drafted into war, fighting in Vietnam was hardly something to celebrate or wear on his sleeve.

Military icons in our midst

fr biggunThree military relics on display in the mountains honor the nation’s long and fabled history of duty and service to country.

‘Beloved’ Cherokee storyteller shares WWII experiences

fr wolfeJerry Wolfe is a storyteller. Whether he’s telling a story of his people at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian or retelling his years spent in the U.S. Navy, the 91-year-old remembers every detail.

More than just a flag: A female WWII vet reflects on the war and its impact on her family

fr mashburnWhen 91-year-old Gertrude Mashburn tells strangers she’s a World War II veteran — a topic she usually brings up early in a conversation — she’s often met with skepticism. 

World War II monument rededicated in Webster

fr monumentWebster will hold the biggest Veterans Day celebration it’s had for 64 years when it rededicates the World War II monument that Webster High School students erected in 1951 to honor their fallen classmates.

Healing in the waters: Disabled vets find comfort, camaraderie in fly fishing

out frOut of Ed Norris’ 68 years of life, Vietnam accounts for just one. Those months he spent deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps are now almost half a century distant, but Norris’s time in the service changed his life forever, the emotional and physical evidence still apparent. 

“There were times when I worked at a job I wore a suit, and walking down the street a truck backfired,” he said. “I hit the deck. I turned around and had to go home and change clothes because I messed up my suit.”

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.