Local vets talk about service

Staff Writer

A few local veterans got together at Cathy's Restaurant Thursday, to talk about their service and why they are proud to have been in the military.
Tommy Riddle was in the Strategic Air Command from 1961 - 1984. Paul S. Carpenter served his country for 36 years in the Army. Candy Baldwyn served in the Army National Guard from 1990 - 2011 and is an Iraq War veteran. Buddy Nabors served in the Army during the Vietnam war but was stationed in Germany.

"My dad was in the Army, I had a friend in the Army," Baldwyn said. "I was unemployed at the time and I decided to check into joining the Army. I'm proud of my service."
Baldwyn said she was stationed in Iraq and Kuwait. She said while there she did her job.

"It might seem like what you were doing was trivial," Baldwyn said. "But as long as you did your job to the best of your ability which in turn effected someone else's job and on down the line, we got things done. Everything we did affected someone else. if you were a cook, you made sure everyone got fed. There were no small jobs."
Tommy Riddle said as a member of the Strategic Air Command, he really appreciated the people who were on the ground.

"The closest I got to the fighting in Vietnam was being in the air during the Tet Offensive," Riddle said. "I kept telling the pilot to fly higher. The guys on the ground did all the work. I spent eight months in Guam and 2 1/2 years in Okinawa. I had my wife with me some of that time."
Riddle said when he first joined the Air Force , his CO told him if he needed a wife, he would be issued one. He didn't find one in his duffel bag when he looked.

"I think the wives and children are in the service too," Riddle said."When you serve your country, your family is serving too. Along with parents and other member of the family who care about you."
Riddle said he joined the Air Force because his mother told him to get a job when he graduated from high school. He said no one would hire him because of the draft, so he joined the Air Force voluntarily.

Carpenter said he was proud to have been commanding officer here at home with the 223rd Engineer Brigade from 1996 - 98.
"I had the privilege of serving here at home," Carpenter said. "I had 750 men under my command during that time. Then I was sent to Laurel to be over 3,500 men in the Transportation Brigade. That was logistic type support."

Carpenter said he was a surveyor in Vietnam, after the war he went to college to become an engineer.
"i'm retired now," Carpenter said. "But I still do a little survey work if someone asks me too. I have a good reputation for honest work."
Carpenter said the country owes a huge thank you to the volunteer Army that is in place now. He said he was drafted, and every young man knew they would have to do military service. Now there is a choice.

"Right now I refuse to watch an NFL game," Nabors said. "It is an insult to every man and woman who ever served for those over paid players to refuse to stand for the National Anthem. I understand the right to protest, but they are spitting on the graves of everyone who died to give them that right."
Nabors said when he hears the National Anthem, he gets emotional. He said he loves his country and was proud to have served.
"Our whole country was based on freedom of religion, speech, the press," Baldwyn said. "That's the cornerstone this country was built on, freedom. I am proud to have served my country."