White Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center held a Veteran’s Day program Monday to honor its resident veterans.
Escorted by members of the WHJROTC, each veteran was introduced. Tyler Dixon sang the “Star Spangled Banner” with Laura Richards signing the song.
The JROTC presented flags from every country the veterans served in.
Rev. Allen Elkins, master of ceremonies, read a brief military history of Veteran James "Frank" Elkins, as told to his niece Becky Shults as follows:
James Frank Elkins was a Private in the Army and served in the Korean War. He completed his basic training at Camp Roberts, California where he trained for the Army during the day and competed against his fellow soldiers in boxing matches at night.
He has shared his memories with his family of the time he was deployed to North Korea to serve as a communication specialist in the Korean War. It was winter time and he and the other soldiers were freezing while riding the train (which had no heat) up the mountains in Korea. Knowing that heat rises, he tried to climb up into the luggage rack to try to get warm but would fall down on top of his fellow soldiers. After a few unsuccessful attempts and making his fellow soldiers angry from him falling on them, he took everything out of his duffle bag climbed into it and pulled it up to his waist to try to get some warmth. He also told of how it was so cold they would have their fox holes at the bottom of the mountains and would climb into their sleeping bag, zip it all the way up to their nose while they lay on the freezing ground trying to sleep and wake up with ice on the end of their noses.
While serving in the Korean war, Elkins was a Communications Specialist. He recalled one time while he was in his foxhole he stood up to put 2 wires together and got shot at. When the dust flew all over his face from the bullet that barely missed him he learned to stay in his fox hole to work!
He said the best memory he had while being in Korea was the day the commander came into his barracks and yelled, “All going to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas fall out in Company Street!” He knew he was going home....
James “Frank” Elkins has worked all of his life since returning from the War to raise money for Veterans of Foreign Wars. Many people remember how he would have a small table set up at Walmart, Cranfords and other business selling raffle tickets with all proceeds going to the VFW here in White Hall. When there was money to be raised, Frank Elkins was the man they could depend on to get the job done! He was born in White Hall and has proudly served this city and his country all of his life.
Page 2 of 2 - Shane Robertson, a resident of WHNR presented Elkins with an American flag donated by Lewie Brown and Glen Minor, with the American Legion Socia-Maxwell Post 232, presented each veteran with a basket.
Those Veteran residents at WHNRC receiving special recognition were: Alfred Gibson, Andrew Jackson, Bud Jenkins, Cecil Wood, Charles Lesisur, Charles Miller, Clement Phillips, Edward Elam, Elton Jones, Frances Meiggs (the only female), James "Frank" Elkins, Gilbert Thomas, Juara Robinson, Joe Reed, John Paul Weiner, Lafa Watson, and Paul Lampkin.