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Fort Sill honors veteran of WWII, Korean & Vietnam wars

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 4:54 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2021 at 4:55 PM CST
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FORT SILL, Okla. (KSWO) - A Lawton veteran who served in three wars was honored for his service at Fort Sill on Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel James Thompson served for 23 years and was awarded three bronze stars - one for his time in Germany during WWII, one for his time in Korea and one for his time in Vietnam. Monday, he got a hero’s welcome at Fort Sill as he met with officials and trainees of the next generation.

“I’m a WWII buff and a lot of these young soldiers and high school students, a lot of them don’t really appreciate our greatest generation, which he is one of the members of our greatest generation. Unfortunately, they’re all dying, they’re getting older, it’s understandable, it’s going to happen. But while they’re alive, if there’s any way to recognize them for everything they’ve done, to show them there are fellow Americans out there that appreciate them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ricardo Lobo.

Thompson met with dozens of men and women today, including Grace Clements, who will be starting basic training on Tuesday.

“He’s a WWII veteran, that doesn’t come around every day. I wish I could just hear him talk more and I feel very honored that I at least got to meet him,” Clements said.

This meeting happened by chance, as bumped into Thompson at the Fort Sill Visitor’s Center.

“I’m always on the lookout for the hats. When I saw the WWII, Korea, Vietnam hat, I immediately went to him, made a beeline straight to him, made his acquaintance, talked to him. When I meet these guys, I make it a point to talk to them, find out about them, find their stories and keep in contact with them,” Lobo said.

Lobo said he hopes Monday’s meeting leaves a lasting impact on the young men and women in attendance.

“Hopefully these young trainees can see there’s something to be proud of. It’s an honor to wear the uniform and serve your country. You hear what they went through, obviously things have changed over the years, but maybe one day these trainees will grow up, grow older and mature and be in the Army for a long time and maybe one day they’ll have stories to share with their great grand kids,” Lobo said.

As we approach Veterans Day, Lobo suggests people take the time to get to know the Veterans around them. He said thanking them for their service is always appreciated, but asking them for details and allowing them to tell their stories can create a much bigger impact.

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