Kentuckian Bobby Gibson served in an artillery unit in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in the Vietnam War. During a 12-month tour of duty, he was out of the A Shau Valley and away from fighting along the Ho Chi Minh trail for less than 24 hours.
This month our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and the family feasts that often accompany it. But in our hurry to get to the turkey and stuffing, we often overlook another important date: Veteran’s Day.
Kentucky is home to more than 300,000 veterans deserving of our gratitude for their service to this country. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are proud to count many of them as owner-members.
Seventy-four veterans are employees of our East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC).
For 10 years, EKPC has honored veterans by joining with Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to sponsor Honor Fight. The all-expense paid, one-day tour of Washington, D.C., takes veterans to see memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifices.
Veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were scheduled to go on this year’s Honor Flight. Among the group is two-time Bronze Star recipient Bobby Gibson, who served in an artillery unit in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in the Vietnam War.
During a 12-month tour of duty in the Vietnam jungle, he spent most of his time positioned behind a 155 mm howitzer, an artillery piece that could strike with accuracy up to nine miles away. Large Chinook helicopters were constantly airlifting Gibson and his squad to “where the action was.” The fighting was intense and too often lethal.
It took “a little bit of bravery and a little bit of silliness” to survive the experience, he said.
Gibson and other veterans who were on the roster for Honor Flight 2021 are profiled in articles found at https://honorflightky.org/aboutus/news-3. The flight was canceled due to safety reasons, but we hope to go next year.
As we give thanks this month, let’s remember the blessings of America that have been brought to us by the men and women who stepped into the gap in defense of our nation.
To all veterans, we thank you for your service.