This story originally appeared in the Sept. 15 issue of the Community Voice. For your own subscription, call 270-384-9454.
Edwin “Ebb” Arnold had a flashback to his time in the war last Saturday while taking part in the military recognition ceremony at the 2022 Revisit Knifley event. He had joined several veterans from many different wars and conflicts to be recognized for their service and duty to their country.
As Arnold and his fellow veterans were standing and wrapping up saying the Pledge of Allegiance, two C-130J Super Hercules airplanes flew over Knifley to add to the significance of the moment.
“I loved the ceremony at Knifley, I loved every bit of it,” said Arnold, a Korean Conflict survivor. “It was great to see everybody and be recognized. There were quite a few people there for the ceremony.
“From where I was sitting, I saw the planes coming before anybody else did. I thought they weren’t going very fast, but when they got to Knifley, they took off. For a moment there I was back in Korea.”
Arnold, 91, was born in the Plum Point community and was the tenth of 11 children. His appreciation of the military was prevalent during that time, but he had no inclination of joining. The draft changed that. He was originally called for the draft and was not accepted. Later, he was called for the draft again in 1952 and served in the Air Force.
After basic training, he was stationed in Yokohama, Japan for about a year before being transferred to Korea. Arnold said he never saw combat but always wanted to be a good soldier so he tried to learn everything he could.
“My time in the military was wonderful, and I loved the people,” Arnold said. “I don’t think being in the military changed me a bit. I was a country boy that went to church all my life, and I still am. I learned good discipline and how to work with people.”
Arnold said he miss- es his time in the military and even after all the years, though he can’t always remember their names, wonders whatever happened to some of the men and women he served with.
“I never regretted my time in the military,” said Arnold. “If I hadn’t been drafted, I wouldn’t have been able to see the places I was stationed in, met the people I did, and made the friends I made.”
Arnold later met his wife, Geraldine, and they had two children – Edwina and Gerry Dean – each still living in the region. Arnold likes to tell the story of his first date with Geraldine, which started with him stopping at her house on a whim.
Geraldine came out of the house, reportedly to go with some friends who were waiting in a car parked next to Arnold. Instead of getting in the car with her friends, she jumped in Arnold’s car. They were married for just over 60 years when she died in 2020.
By Scott Wilson