U.J. King, a Hometown Hero - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

U.J. King, a Hometown Hero


U.J King is a 92-year-old World War II veteran.

He volunteered for the military in 1940 at just 19-years-old.

"I really loved being in the military," King said. "I had some great memories there."

When World War II began, King travelled all across the world working as a medic, tending to wounded soldiers on the battleground.

"When the Germans surrendered I was in Czechoslovakia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Sam Houston, San Antonio, but Alaska is too cold," King said.

"I remember I went out on a vacant lot and there were three men shooting. They asked 'would someone go out there and get them?' and I said I would. So I loaded them and evacuated them to an aid station."

His uniform tells a story of courage and bravery through 15 years of active duty.

King has been out of service for more than 50 years but the medals honoring that service are timeless.

King has been awarded two bronze star medals, the fourth highest individual military award, and one silver star.

But perhaps his highest award is from the French Military, who gave him the Legion of Honor. There are only 94,807 people in the world who have been given the award since 1804.

But King says that two of his proudest moments were the Battle of the Bulge and D-day.

He wasn't the only family member who joined the Army.

Three of King's five sisters and his only brother also served in active duty during the same time he did.

And though King's 15 years of active duty played a critical role in his life, offering some of the strongest friendships he's ever known, King says it's his life after the war that he treasures most.

"When I got married and got these five daughters and a boy."

King's five daughters and their families live in the Lubbock area. He says that being a granddad is very important to him.

He is still active in pursuing his hobbies, including keeping up with girls basketball and keeping his garden.

King attributes his excellent health in part to eating so many vegetables all his life, starting when he was just a boy.

"My parents always had a garden, so we always ate vegetables. That has a lot to do with my health today," said King. "I'm really lucky to have my good health."

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