Betty Arthur remembers being a young child hearing stories from her father about his service during World War I. She also remembers similar stories as a young adult from her father-in-law.
Arthur petitioned the Veterans’ Legacy Foundation to help her collect the medals and honors both men were due for their time and service to their country during the first World War. Those honors were presented to Autry and her family Saturday on behalf of the men.
James I. Arthur and Silas E. Howell were both honored by their country and presented with their medals by the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team during a ceremony held Saturday at the Clinton City Hall. Arthur and her nephew, David Howell, accepted those medals on their family’s behalf from LTC Charles W. Morrison, an executive officer with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team.
VLF is an organization formed by veterans and dedicated volunteers who strongly believe in the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. The organization’s goal is assisting those veterans and families in researching and documenting and accurate and complete account of the legacy of veteran service so that it can be passed on to future generations.
According to John Elskamp, executive director for VLF, when family members seek to preserve the legacy of their family member’s military service, VLF can provide the results of their research to agencies such as the State Archives of the Library of Congress.
“Were are here to celebrate the military legacies of two military veterans,” Elskamp said during Saturday’s ceremony.
To date, the VLF has more than 290 open and active cases and efforts have resulted in numerous past-due commendations and recognitions for service, going back to WWI.
James I. Arthur served in the 30th Infantry Division, 120th Infantry Regiment, Company H during his time in WWI. On Sept. 29, 1918, Arthur was shot and wounded during combat while in France.
“James Arthur was wounded and never received his Purple Heart,” Elskamp said. “Today, we will correct that.”
On behalf of her father-in-law, Arthur received the Purple Heart that was awarded to her father-in-law, but he was never given.
Silas E. Howell, Betty’s father, was a member of the 81st Division, 324th Infantry Regiment, Company I during WWI. On behalf of his grandfather, David Howell received his Silas Howell’s medal for his service during WWI.
“I remember stories from my father about his service during the war,” Arthur said during the presentation. “I have never known anyone who worked any harder than my daddy.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.