November 7, 2016


Friday November 11th is Veteran’s Day. Take a moment to remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have valiantly fought to make America the greatest nation on Earth. John Ralph and I are blessed to know and have known many veterans who have served our country, some paid the ultimate sacrifice, while others live with war-torn memories.

John Powers is a good friend and veteran of WWII. He grew up in Diboll, married Mable Nivens. They are very active and now live in Pine Crest. Following is an excerpt from John Powers’ oral interview with Jonathan Gerland at the History Center. The setting is February 21, 1944, two days after the invasion of the island of Iwo Jima. John was a 17-year-old boy from Diboll who lied about his age to join the US Marines.

All night long and there was a number of boys got killed real close to me, but none ever hit me so I guess I was lucky. But the third day, that would be the 21st, I’ll never forget it. We were laying down on Airfield #1 near Suribachi, they were shooting above us. We should have already been on the other end of the island but we were still there on the airstrip. All of a sudden, I think every boat and there must have been a thousand or more boats there, but they all started blowing their darn horns, and you know, you think the war is over or something. But anyhow I looked back over my shoulder and saw US Marines raising the United States flag on Mount Suribachi.  I can say I was one of the people that saw the flag go up. We never went up Mount Suribachi, our object was going to the other end of the island. John Powers’ entire interview can be read on The History Center’s website but this five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest fighting of the war in the Pacific during WW II. The US flag was raised on the 5th day of the 36-day battle.  In 1954, the flag raising picture was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery.

Billy Graham once said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” When I see someone kneel during the singing of our National Anthem, it makes me sick even though I understand our constitution gives them the freedom to do so, they surely must not know that people died for that freedom!! May God have mercy on America!

The public is invited to attend a Veterans Day program on November 11th at 9:30 in the H. G. Temple gym (on Lumberjack Drive). All veterans are invited to attend and stay for a luncheon with the students.  On Saturday, the 12th, the First Methodist Church of Diboll is having a special breakfast at 8 AM to honor veterans. Pastor David Goodwin encourages all veterans to attend and bring any memorabilia to display. For more information, call the church office and talk with Shirley Harris, 829-4470.

A grateful Betty Windsor was the recipient of the funds raised by the city of Diboll during a month long campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness. Betty survived breast cancer for two years before it reoccurred as bone cancer stage 4 in her liver and leg. With the support of her family and friends she has made many trips to M. D. Anderson in Houston. Presently, she is weak but gaining strength and takes chemo injections. To convince Betty to go to the city hall, her mother Thelma Houston, told a fib that they needed to sign a petition. When Betty arrived with her mother and twin sister, Denna, Gary Boren opened a folder and gave a check to Betty who was so appreciative. Betty is married to Curtis Windsor and they have two children; 19 year-old AC student, Malinda and 5th grader, Joshua. There are many in our community that are fighting cancer and our hearts and prayers go with them as well as Betty Windsor. Many thanks to Loretta Christmas and others who helped with the month long campaign.

Vic Bass was invited to First Baptist Church Atlanta, Georgia, whose pastor is Dr. Charles Stanley. Although Dr. Stanley was out of town, Vic was the guest of Anthony George, Senior Associate Pastor, who preached in his absence. Vic and Anthony have been close since Vic introduced him to Jesus while both were living in Dallas, Texas. While in Atlanta, Vic got a tour of the church where he had his picture made on stage with Anthony and also toured the In Touch facilities.

We were pleased to meet Matt Courtney who stopped by the round table. We know his grandparents, Newt and Jeanene Courtney. Matt is a flight instructor with Courtney Aviation and a third generation of pilots: Newt, his dad, Chad and Matt. According to his grandparents, Matt is very entrepreneurial, organized and creative and true to that has started a new venture, T&C Gutters with Austin Thigpen. They installed seamless gutters and were in Diboll working on the new pizza place. Give them a call at 936-219-9155 when you need gutters.

Lynnwood Matchett was the lucky winner of the Diboll 4-H’s raffle for a Savage 17 WSM and Garrett Peck sold the winning ticket. Bill Dean Yates was in buying Liberty overalls. Larry Lucas was in for peanuts and syrup. Richard Warner came in to buy deer corn. Betty Kee was doing a little shopping while waiting for her neighbor, Tina Hannah, to get home from work so they could go eat at Golden Corral.

Our Georgia pecans have arrived and seem even better than the year before. Peanuts are also available.

Don’t forget to tell a veteran “Thank You” and come see us…’round the table.