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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Former solider views Wall

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Frank Humphrey is pictured above with LeRoy Jenness of VFW post #2253 at the Vietnam "Moving Wall;" Humphrey, 85, served in the military for 30 years. Photo contributed
Former Cherokee resident, Frank Humphrey, currently of Remsen, came to Cherokee on Sept. 13 to view the Vietnam "Moving Wall."

Humphrey was born on Oct. 19, 1932. He grew up in Cherokee and graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in 1942. After high school, he joined the Marine Corps and took his basic training in San Diego, Calif.

Humphrey was a career man, serving for over 30 years in the Marines. He served all over the world but mostly in the South Pacific. He saw a lot of action serving in the infantry in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. He has earned several citations and many medals. The former Staff Sergeant earned two Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star along with his other medals of distinction. Some of his medals were given to him by foreign governments. He has a total of ten medals hanging on his wall.

Humphrey earned the Bronze Star for his heroic achievement in action against the enemy while serving with a Marine Infantry Battalion on Saipon Maritanas Islands. The citation is summarized as follows: Frank had been wounded with shrapnel but he refused to be evacuated and returned to his duties as a company wireman. He repaired 1,500 yards of communication line at a time when his company was out of communication with the remainder of the battalion. He completed the mission despite enemy sniper fire.

He also served in the Korean conflict. He fought in South Korea at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls a time when a bridge was blown out by the Chinese and the North Koreans. It was wintertime and the conflict resulted in many, many casualties. He recalls that his company filled the reservoir with dead bodies and then crossed to the other side to get out. He says he was very scared and he feels he was lucky to get out alive.

He worked in Montibello, Calif., as a police officer for six years before returning to Cherokee.

His family includes his wife, Doris and three children, one son and two daughters. He also has two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He always enjoyed playing baseball and now enjoys watching baseball on TV. He and his wife moved from Cherokee in January 2006 to Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen.

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