Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Dempsey Bruton, who served in the occupation of post-World War II Germany in a field artillery battalion.
Dempsey Edwin Bruton came from a military family. His three older brothers served in the armed forces, one in World War II. During his childhood, he was a farm hand but then went on to work for the Western Gas Company. At 18-years-old, he enlisted in the military and completed basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia.
During the Korean War, Germany was still under occupation. He said troops stood in line and counted off as either a one or a two. All the soldiers with the number one would go to Korea, while the troops with a number two would go to Europe. Bruton counted off as a two and travelled to Germany.
During May 1951, he arrived in Germany. In the 4th Division, 20th Field Artillery Battalion, Battery B, he served in various locations around Germany. Their main objectives included practicing maneuvers, training outside and protecting the border from a Russian invasion. By driving a 13-ton truck, he pulled the Howitzer artillery guns to different places in Germany. In addition, Bruton’s battalion was one of the first to desegregate, which was progressive for its time. During his service, Bruton received the Good Conduct Medal and Occupation Ribbon.
After his service, Bruton returned to Kentucky in 1953. He became a self-taught and registered journeyman plumber and pipefitter. Bruton has been married to his wife, Betty, for 65 years and they raised four daughters. He currently resides in New Castle, Indiana. After working at the Chrysler Plant in Indiana for 25 years, he retired in 1997. Since his retirement, Bruton stays active mowing the lawn and working around the house. He also enjoys playing a Dobro and listening to country music.
One of the best days of his life was being on an Honor Flight in 2015, in which Veterans visited monuments in Washington, DC.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Hannah Nelson