Johnny Van Hicks tells his story of service during the Korean War
Johnny Van Hicks says when he was growing up he went to school for a while in Cartersville, Georgia and then on Lookout Mountain.
In 1950 as the Korean War was beginning he was drafted into the Army and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
"That's where I was examined and took my Basic training," Mr. Hicks said.
In the early 1950's Mr. Hicks was a corporal, and he spent most of his time in the Army as a mechanic
"I was in the service station business and everything before I was drafted," Mr. Hicks.
He says during the war he didn't spend a lot of time working on military vehicles. He spent a lot of time on the road.
"When I was overseas I used to drive over South Korea and part of North Korea," Mr. Hicks. "I had to hunt parts. I had a rough time getting parts over there for a while."
He says he would often search for parts for days at a time.
"A lot of the times parts didn't make it to their destination and so, but anyway that was my job," Mr. Hicks said.
He spent almost a full year in Korea and two years total in the military.
When he came home he had a service station in St Elmo for a couple years.
"Then I left Chattanooga later on and went to Chicago," Mr. Hicks said. "I worked on the last street car left in Chicago."
He later came home and drove trucks, and later worked in real estate for decades.
He now lives in an assisted living facility in Chattanooga and was recently recognized for his service there. I asked him what he thinks about when he thinks about his military service.
"I'm proud of it," he said. "I played my part, and I'm proud of it."
Johnny Van Hicks in now 91 years old.