ODON — Charles Thompson, Robert Rhoades and Tom Gerber all served in the military during the Korean War. The three men all have different stories tell.
“I was in during Korea but I never went there,” said Thompson who was a member of the Army. “I spent most of the three years that I was in the service at West Point.”
Thompson, who is originally from Springville, said he willingly joined the Army with two others.
“I feel kind of guilty because my buddies all got sent over there and I was still over here,” he said.
After leaving the Army, Thompson moved to Greene County, near Switz City, and worked as a bricklayer for many years before moving to Odon.
Tom Gerber was also in the service for three years during the Korean War but never left the United States.
“They kept me on as an instructor,” said Gerber, who was raised near Patricksburg. “I got as high up as I could go and then I got out and went to the Indiana Teachers College and taught math at the secondary level and coached ball.”
Unlike Thompson and Gerber, Rhoades, who is originally from Tennessee, was sent overseas as part of the Navy.
“I went into the Navy right after World War II,” he said, adding he received a medal for occupying Japan. “I made two trips to Korea and who knows how many to Japan.”
Rhoades said the ship he was on was used to moved supplies but was involved in a bombing raid in Chosan. That didn’t scare him off from continuing to serve. He spent time in England and Morocco as well as other time spent at U.S. bases in Great Lakes, Key West and Charleston.
“I also served in Vietnam,” said Rhoades. “I was in the Navy for 20 years, six months and four days.”
After leaving the Navy, Rhoades eventually landed a job at Naval Support Activity Crane.
“The contracts just coming in so I stayed,” said Rhoades, who said he finally retired after 20 years at Crane.