Celebrating those who have served their country bravely

Smitty Harris

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for our veterans, men and women who served their country, going to foreign places and not knowing if they’d get to return home or not.

In 1973-74, I signed up for the Vietnam war but my name never came up.

The Vietnam War pitted communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong against South Vietnam and the United States. The war ended when U.S. forces withdrew in 1973 and Vietnam unified under Communist control two years later.

Many of my friends, who are veterans, tell me I should consider myself lucky, but I see the bond most still have with one another, it would added to my discipline and plus my Dad, Floyd Clark, served on the front lines in Korea — so I’ll always wonder “what if?”

These pages (Nov. 7, 2019 Courier) began several years ago. Tony Lute, curator of the Tupelo Veterans Museum, had collected these photos from family members and had them stored away in a locker — there were just too many to display.

One day Dick Hill, also a veteran, got them from Tony and scanned all of them. Dick and his wife Costa have been longtime subscribers to The Courier and Dick would drop by from time to time to help identify historic images.

He came by just a little after Memorial Day in 2018 and told me about all the photos he had scanned of veterans from Lee County.

We talked about running the ones of those who had passed for Memorial Day 2019 and those who were still with us on Veterans Day 2019.

We just didn’t know Dick, himself, would pass away March 12, 2019, at his residence in Tupelo after a sudden illness. Our plan was to separate the living from the dead photos but time caught up with us.

So I met with Tony, just a few days ago and we decided to run all the photos Dick had scanned — today for Veterans Day. Now we’d like your help.

Those without the dove or the star symbol, we weren’t 100 percent sure if they were with us or not.

Dick was also in the process of getting more photos of Lee County veterans so we by no means have a photo of everyone.

From this point forward our plan is to run photos of those who have passed Memorial Day 2020 and those who are still with us on Veterans Day 2020.

So if you have answers or have photos of those who are not represented on these pages (Lee County), please contact Tony Lute 662-321-0025 — so we can have the most updated information.

Six pages are available for you to look at in the Nov. 7, 2019 Courier.

You can find a Courier at these stores, but hurry they'll sell out fast.

Chevron, on North Gloster;

Chevron at corner of Cliff Gookin and Gloster,

Papa V’s, Tupelo;

Papa V’s, Verona;

Sprint Mart, Nettleton;

Buzy Bee, Shannon;

Palmer’s Big Star, Tupelo

and many more. All papers are inside stores.

Inside you'll also find the story of Smitty Harris and his recently released book "Tap Code." You'll learn where to see Smitty and where to get a signed edition of the book.

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