Salute to Veterans takes place Sunday afternoon

Nov. 2—Veterans will once again be honored at the Daviess County Museum with a program and then a parade Sunday afternoon.

Event organizer Linda Cornelius said this year's program will begin at 2 p.m. at the museum on Main Street.

"Our speaker this year will be Lieutenant Commander Thomas Noble," said Cornelius, who said the annual Salute to Veterans program is free and open to the public.

Noble, a native of Jamestown,Kentucky, who now resides in Odon with his wife, Shelba Graves, enlisted in the Navy in 1965. His biography states,"After completion of Recruit and Technical training he completed tours of duty aboard an aircraft carrier homeported in Long beach, California and a destroyer homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In January 1968 after completion of Swift Boat, Vietnamese language, and survival training Petty Officer second class (E-5) Noble was assigned as leading petty officer aboard a Swift Boat in Da Nang, Chu Lai and Cua Viet Vietnam. Petty Officer Noble's duties were to patrol the rivers and coastal areas against the North Vietnamese and the insurgent Viet Cong.

After completion of his tour of duty in Vietnam, Petty Officer Noble completed advanced technical training and tours of duty aboard a helicopter landing ship homeported in Bremerton Washington and a Destroyer Escort homeported in Long beach, California. In 1973 Petty Officer First Class (E-6) Noble was assigned as leading Radarman aboard the Guided Missile Destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson. In addition to his Radar duties Petty Officer served as Vietnamese interpreter for the Cambodian evacuation in March of 1975 and the evacuation of Saigon in April of 1975. The next month May 15 the USS Wilson was a major participant in the recovery of the SS Mayaguez, which had been seized by Cambodian gun boats.

Petty officer Noble volunteered to arm and man the Captain's "Gig", a 26 foot boat which was used to ferry the captain to and from shore. The Gig came under heavy fire on several occasions. The citation for the Bronze Star that he was awarded for this action reads: "Noble while fully exposed on the bow of his small craft gave accurate M-60 suppression fire allowing the HH 53 helicopters to escape saving the lives of over 40 Marines. He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer (E-7) 15 days after this incident. He was then assigned as lead instructor at a training center in California. In April 1977 he was one of 5 Navy enlisted personnel to be selected for commissioning as a limited duty officer. After commissioning he served tours as Electronic Warfare Officer on an aircraft carrier homeported in San Diego and as Combat Information Center Officer on a cruiser homeported in Norfolk Va. In addition he served as an instructor at Little Creek, Va. In 1985 Lieutenant Commander Noble finished his first of two degrees and requested and was selected to re-designate to un-restricted line officer. After attending Department Head training he was assigned as weapons officer aboard a destroyer homeported in Jacksonville, Fla. He was selected for promotion and executive officer at sea in 1988, however after 24 plus years of dedicated service he chose to retire. His over 50 decorations include the Bronze Star (with V for valor) three Navy Commendation Medals and five Navy Achievement Medals.

After retirement from the Navy he completed an electrical engineering degree worked as an engineer and engineering manager for Technology Service Corporation out of Santa Monica, California. In 1995 he along with two partners founded Tri Star Engineering, where he served as executive vice president until his retirement in 2003."

Cornelius said the program will include the presentation of colors by the Washington High School NJROTC, introductions of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens from the county schools, and performances from the award winning Washington High School Dance Team and Washington High School Golden Pride band.

"We will also have the Shriners on hand," she said.

Once the program is over, the community is invited to gather along Main Street for the veterans parade that will begin at 4 p.m. A box float contest will be part of the festivities.

"This is open to students in first grade through high school, and we have cash prizes," said Cornelius who said there is no fee for fielding a box float or a more traditional entry in the parade that will begin at the Washington Carnegie Public Library. "All students need is a box decorated in an patriotic theme. They can wear it, pull it with a rope or on a little wagon. And if you look up box float, there are several different ideas you can find online. Some even build their box floats on battery operated toy cars. "

Cash prizes will be awarded in three age divisions; first through fourth, fifth through eighth and high school.

For more information on the parade and Veterans Day program at the Daviess County Museum, contact Cornelius at 8120617-5300.