Army veteran earns special commendation

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A veteran who was born and raised in Barry County recently received a special commendation from the U.S. Army.

Roy Eugene Blanken-ship, who now lives in Ukiah, Calif., was presented with a Freedom Team Salute Commendation, honoring him for outstanding service to the nation as a United States Army soldier.

"You are being recognized for your patriotism and continued support of the Army family," the plaque read. "Your legacy is is today's Army and the values soldiers exhibit while fighting the global war on terrorism. Their efforts are a direct reflection of your service, and the United States Army and a grateful nation thank you."

The certificate of commendation was signed by General George W. Casey, Jr., United States Army chief of staff, and Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army.

Blankenship, who attended Cato School in the Jenkins area and was the son of Effie Blankenship, served in the Army from 1946 to 1949 as a corporal. He was stationed in Yokohoma, Japan, as a member of an engineers unit.

"We got there right after the atom bomb was dropped at Hiroshima," said Blankenship. "I was 18 when I entered the Army, so I was pretty young."

Blankenship, now age 81, said the plaques he recently received hang proudly on the wall at his home in California.

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