From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, July 11, 1968

Too many to pull out

Carey Lee Johns, Oneonta marine killed June 18, is the 15th man Blount County has lost in the Vietnam War. The following was written by a friend of Carey Lee’s, Gene Curlette, who is back at home after completing military duty, including a year with the Ninth Infantry Division at Dong Tam in Vietnam.

“Carey Lee Johns died in Vietnam. Why did Carey Lee enlist in the Marine Corps? Maybe he had to go into service. Carey Lee could have been tired of the protesters, flag burners, and card burners. Carey Lee believed in America. He died in the name of freedom. America will stay free as long as there are men like Carey Lee Johns. His spirit and the spirit of all the men who died in the name of freedom will live forever.

“I would like to tell you about a few men like Carey Lee. I was talking to a man in our graves registration area. He was going to Hawaii on R&R to see his son and wife in three days. He never made it. Then there was a sergeant who came in one day to identify some men. He said, ‘I will be here tomorrow.’ He was in the next day – a casualty. We also got the personal effects of the men who got killed. We could handle the remains without any problems. It was a different thing when it came to personal effects. We had to take pictures out of the folders and count them. We also had to look at all of those smiling faces. You saw a father holding a son and the proud smile of his wife. There were thousands more pictures. I saw them every night.

“Most of the men over in Vietnam think that we should stay to win. We have lost too many good men to pull out now.”

Man held on beer charge

According to Sheriff J.C. Carr, a 38-year-old man who resides on Altoona route two was arrested over the weekend on charges of transporting beer. Some 10 cases of the beverage were confiscated along with a 1962 Ford truck. He has been released on $750 bond pending further action by the county grand jury.