Walton American Legion rededicates building to honor decorated veteran | New

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It took two years, but the timing was worth the wait, especially to rededicate American Legion Post 418 after veteran Robert Ray Brown on Veterans Day.

An audience of families, veterans and members of the Walton community gathered at Post 418 on Friday afternoon, Nov. 11, to pay their respects to the late veteran as the American Legion building was renamed Robert Ray Brown Post 418.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Vice Commander Vince Beeson, who served 21 years in the Active Army, Active Air Force and Air Force Reserve. “It took a lot of paperwork to get this approved.”

Brown arrived in Cass County with his family from Kentucky in 1936. He enlisted in the army when he was 17, Beeson said during the opening ceremony speech.

“This man served 31 years, served in three wars, and like most Americans, he didn’t go on to be a hero,” he said. “He just put on a uniform and did the job that was asked of him. It is a representation of the American for me.

Brown served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. During World War II, he was responsible for rounding up the Nazis at the end of the war.

In Korea, he rose to the rank of staff sergeant while serving three tours of duty.

A heartbreaking moment came when he was a tank commander and was shot twice by a sniper. He was shot once in the leg. His helmet saved his life from the second bullet, but he was knocked unconscious. His friend and fellow soldier was killed in the sniper attack.

Brown was left for dead but regained consciousness and was able to wave to a passing American jeep.

While on two tours in Vietnam, Brown rose to the rank of company first sergeant. Once again his helmet saved him from a bullet.

During Vietnam, he trained soldiers in the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of South Carolina. When he returned to Indiana, he taught at Howe Military School.

Her brother, Charlie Brown, said the name change ceremony was a great honor.

“He is, I think, probably the most decorated soldier in Indiana,” he said. “It’s a great honor.”

“He was a very good, dedicated man,” said his sister Margie Brown. “He dedicated his life to the military.”

She said the ceremony touched her heart and she felt overwhelmed knowing her medal count was one of the best in the state. Brown won 36 medals which were displayed during the ceremony.

“We are very proud of him,” she said. “He loved the army. He really did. He was a hell of a man. »

Brown died in 2011 at the age of 83. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The Robert Ray Brown Post 418 is located at 111 Depot St.

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