The Greeneville Sun
Current Weather
Clear Clear
37 ° Severe Weather Alert!
Click Icon for Extended Forecast
Get Breaking News Alerts
FREE Service of
Brad & Ginia Johnston
423-823-0414 | 423-823-0716
Get special offers
from GreenevilleSun.com.
 
Hats In The Ring
Candidates Showcase


Patty Tilson
Greene Co. Clerk




Nathan Holt
Greene Co. Trustee




Brett Purgason
Greene Co. Mayor




Robin Quillen
3rd Dist. County Commissioner




David Crum
Greene Co. Mayor




Ted Hensley
5th Dist. State Representative




David Weems
Road Superintendent




Jan Kiker
Greene Co. Clerk




Christina Blevins
Register of Deeds



 
 
2002 Ford F150 King

1997 Honda Valkyrie

1928 Ford Model A Door

1970 Nova 1 Owner 56k

2004 Jeep Wrangler (sahara

1996 Ford F-super Duty

Get featured here and increase your advertising results by upgrading your classified ad to a TopAd.

Call: 423-638-4185

Get featured here and increase your advertising results by upgrading your classified ad to a TopAd.

Call: 423-638-4185




Public Notices

April 17, 2014

choose text size bigger text smaller text

'Quilt Of Valor' Recipient Served In Pivotal
WWII Engagements

Sun photo by O.J. Early

Jane Karuschkat, daughter of John Organist, stands next to her father and admires his “Quilt of Valor,” presented Wednesday to the World War II Army veteran by the Greene County Quilters group at Durham-Hensley Health & Rehabilitation in Chuckey, where Organist lives. Wednesday was also Organist’s 89th birthday.


Originally published: 2014-01-27 11:14:03
Last modified: 2014-01-27 11:50:49
 


James Strong, 91, Presented With Quilt Friday

BY KEN LITTLE

STAFF WRITER

James L. Strong began driving at age 12 and still does so at 91.

Strong's skills behind the wheel proved invaluable during World War II, when he served in the U.S. Army as an ambulance driver in France, Germany and other European countries.

Strong was under enemy fire many times while picking up wounded soldiers on the front lines and transporting them to first aid stations in his trusty Jeep, which was rigged to carry two men on stretchers.

He was recognized Friday for his service at his Kingsport Highway home with a Quilt of Valor presented by members of the Greene County Quilters group.

A 'HUG' IN EVERY STITCH

Strong smiled broadly as he was presented with a multicolor quilt by Cleatis Hofer, of the Mosheim-based quilters group.

"A hug has been sewn into every stitch of this quilt," Hofer told Strong, a Greene County native who grew up on nearby Robertson Road.

Strong comes from a large family of 11 brothers and sisters. He and twin brothers Don and Ron Strong, the surviving siblings, were both on hand with their families for the presentation.

Don Strong nominated his brother for the Quilt of Valor.

It's well deserved, Don Strong said.

"He's real proud of his time in the service," he said.

James Strong was drafted in 1943. After training in the Medical Corps, he was attached to an ambulance company belonging to the 50th Medical Battalion.

Strong vividly recalls spending 14 days on a small troop ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean to England.

"I was sick the whole way," he said.

SERVICE IN EUROPE

Strong landed in Normandy, France on "D-Day Plus Two" -- June 8, 1944.

He saw service in six European countries as the Allies gradually pushed back Axis forces. Strong was in the thick of the action.

"I picked up wounded and took them to an aid station, and they were taken to a hospital," he said.

Strong served alongside many celebrated units throughout the course of the war, including the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions.

He was there as Allied armies broke out of Normandy and drove retreating German armies across France. He participated in the ill-fated "Operation Market Garden" offensive in September 1944.

"When the 101st dropped in Holland, we were there with them," Strong said.

Strong was in an ambulance company attached to the 82nd Airborne Division during the "Battle of the Bulge" in December 1944.

CLOSE CALLS

Strong had some close calls while driving the Jeep ambulance.

"I had a lot of them," he said. "I was right up in the front with the infantry."

He said fate was smiling on him one day while driving through a field at top speed.

All of a sudden, "I was going airborne," he said.

"I thought I hit a ditch, and the back of the Jeep came clear off the ground," Strong said.

But the Jeep kept going. It wasn't until Strong reached his destination that he found out he had run over a land mine or an unexploded bomb that detonated.

"It was a good thing it was running as fast as it was," he said. "I'm one of the lucky ones who got out of it without any wounds or anything. The Good Lord was watching after me."

Strong remained in the 493rd Medical Collection Company throughout the war. After hostilities ended, he was assigned a new job.

Some U.S. military hospitals were in the occupation zone taken over by the Russians. Strong hauled coal to the hospitals in a truck, which was unloaded by German prisoners-of-war.

BACK TO THE FARM

He ended the war near Berlin in May 1945 and remained in Europe until the end of the year.

"With the point system we had, I had too many points to go to Japan but not enough to send me home right away," he said.

Strong was discharged in December 1945 after 27 months in the Army. His father, Herman Strong, had sold the family's Greene County property and bought a farm in Indiana, where Strong went to help after the war.

He eventually returned to Greene County.

Strong has lived in a house on the Kingsport Highway for many years. His wife, Lolita, passed away in 2008.

Strong continues his service to the community in other ways. He is a founding member of the Newmansville Volunteer Fire Department and still remains active.

"I don't drive a truck any more, but I still help out," he said.

MILITARY SERVICE

The Strong family has a proud legacy of military service.

In addition to James, another brother, Howard, and a sister, Millie, served in World War II. Another brother, Bert, was a Korean War veteran, and Ron Strong is a Vietnam War veteran.

Millie Strong, an Army nurse in World War II, met her husband Robert L. Strayer while in the armed forces.

Col. Strayer, who served in the 101st Airborne Division, is known to many as the commander of a battalion that included Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, popularized by the book, Band of Brothers, by historian Stephen Ambrose and the highly-regarded television miniseries of the same name.

HONORING VETS

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded about 10 years ago by a Delaware mother whose son was serving in Iraq.

Her goal was to see that returning veterans "were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved," according to the website of the non-profit Quilts of Valor Foundation, http://www.qovf.org/.

Many of the quilts go to hospitalized soldiers recovering from their wounds. Quilts also are presented to active and past members of the armed services who served in times of war.

A particular emphasis among groups such as the Mosheim-based Greene County Quilters is honoring rapidly-dwindling veterans of World War II and the Korean conflict.

Gail Burnett helps coordinate the effort for the Greene County Quilters, assisted by other volunteer members who sew the quilts and make presentations to veterans.

Members of the Greene County Quilters include Hofer, Donna Barnard, Shelley Eastman, Peg Lassen, Patty Burnham, Virginia "Pinky" Byrd, Donna Alcorn, Ann Burnett, Vicky Chiprean and Margaret VanPelt.

James Strong expressed gratitude for his Quilt of Valor. His brothers said he is a truly deserving recipient.

"He went through a lot," Ron Strong said.

 
For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

More Local News


Newspapers In Education Benchmarks
Newspapers In Education
Newspapers In Education
Benchmarks
Benchmarks

Find more businesses on GreenevilleMarketplace.com

Attorneys · Automotive · Health Care · Restaurants Retail · Services · Home & Garden · Recreation


PHOTO GALLERIES
Sponsored in part by:
 
RECENT GALLERIES



 

Terms of Use - Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2014, GREENEVILLE PUBLISHING COMPANY, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This content may not be reused without the express written permission of Greeneville Publishing Company, Inc.
http://www.greenevillesun.com