Ivy Hall veterans recognized during Honor Flight ceremony
Published 9:27 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014
What started as an effort to recognize a decorated World War II veteran ended up honoring 11 veterans with service spanning multiple generations.
The Honor Flight of Northeast Tennessee recently received a request to do something special for 96-year-old World War II veteran Carl Blackburn. Blackburn’s health will not allow him to travel on an Honor Flight trip, so Honor Flight President Edie Lowry decided to bring the Honor Flight to him at Ivy Hall Nursing Home.
“I received an email asking if we could gather letters from children to give to Mr. Blackburn for Veterans Day,” Lowry said. “I thought we can do something better. We can take Honor Flight to him.”
Lowry contacted Ivy Hall Nursing Home, where Blackburn is staying, to arrange a special Veterans Day surprise. From there, the special event grew into something even larger.
The special ceremony held on Saturday honored 11 veterans living in Ivy Hall. These veterans have served in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and other more recent engagements. The ceremony included special music by Haley Lingerfelt and participation of Iraq veteran Michael Deal and Air Force retiree Harvey Tester.
These veterans included:
• Orville Grindstaff, Army 1942-1945. He was stationed in the South Pacific and reached the rank of sergeant. He received the Good Conduct Medal among other honors.
• JD Grindstaff. Grindstaff served in the Navy in the late 1940s.
• Curtis Stonecipher, Army National Guard 1956-1962 and Army 1962-1989. Stonecipher reached the rank of Sergeant 1st Class/E7. He received two Purple Hearts, the National Defense Medal, three Vietnam Service Medals, a Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Bronze Star, four Overseas Service Bars, a Parachute Badge, an Army Achievement Medal, four Overseas Service Ribbons, an Army Service Ribbon, a Mechanic Badge, three Army Commendation Medals, four Army Good Conduct Medals and a Meritorious Service Medal.
• Carl Blackburn, Army 1941-1945. Blackburn received 28 medals including the Bronze Star, the American Defense Service Medal, a Good Conduct Ribbon, a Combat Infantry Badge and a Purple Heart.
• Betty Howell, Navy 1954-1956. Howell worked as a secretary and reached the rank of Ensign 3rd Class.
• Bobby Ramsey, Army 1948-1952. Ramsey served in Iceland and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the NATO Defense Medal.
• Clint Perkins, Navy. Perkins served as a petty officer in the Korean War.
• Woodrow Buchanan, Army. Buchanan served in the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam. He received the Combat Infantry Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
• Lazerus Price, Air Force. Price served in the Air Force from 1947-1953.
• Larnce Bare. Bare served in World War II and the Korean War. He was earned three Bronze Stars.
“We always try to do something every year for our veterans,” said Ivy Hall Activity Director Tim Andrews. “This year, the Honor Flight came out and did a ceremony. Our residents our special to us and we try to make their time here special for them. We do our best to say thank you to them for their service for our country.
This event was the first the Honor Flight has held at a specific location, instead of taking veterans on a special trip.
“This is the first event where we have gone to them,” she said. “We want to show our appreciation for what they did for us. Each and every one of the service men and women deserve a special thank you. This was our first event like this, but it won’t be our last.”