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Veterans Interview: Dennis Boyd with Master Sergeant Kenneth Ellis

Veterans Interview: Dennis Boyd talks with Master Sergeant Kenneth Ellis, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, at Patriot’s Landing in DuPont, Washi

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

And now back to answers for elders as we honor our military veterans. Carriage is the proud sponsor of our veteran segment hosted by former ctle Seahawk Dennis Boyd. Good morning, this is Dennis Boyd with answers for elders. We are here today in Patriot slanting and dupout Washington and today we are visiting with Master Sergeant Kenneth Marbury. Master sergeant, thank you for joining us. Appreciate your time today. Tell us where do you come from? I was born in Oklahoma. My parents migrated to Oregon. Dad bought a strawberry farm and that’s why I hate strawberries today. That it was a it was all work and nope play. I couldn’t wait I got old enough and when I did, I join the air force and all in all I spent twenty seven years in the Air Force. Five of it was reserved, but I spent twenty two and a half active and I went from a private to a master. started a run printing presses and till I got got the rank, and then I supervised people to run printing presses and and we printed so many things. Orders, flight orders, tech orders, anything that we wanted to do. Their job on a base, and most bases was like a town, a city. They have commander was like the head of the city. There were so much to do. As far as printing I was I was signed to Kayser field, Wi Lockley, Mississippi and FAMARIA. I went to fan on my way to Korea and I didn’t make a degree. I stopped in Japan. Then I was discharged. I spent five years in reserve and came back into the air force. Spent the restaurant the time as a printer. I supervised it. I guess the the Best Times I had was it was Vietnam. Really I had the biggest plant in the country, the most people in the most equipment and it was at Thomsenute air base, which is close to Saigon’s biggest job there was I had six GIS and eight Vietnamese working for me, and seven of those Vietnamese or women. So what years were you in? You Sit Japan and then too and then on to Vietnam. So what years? But I was banned fifty two, two hundred and fifty three and I went home. Father got sick and kid brother he got sick and they need me there to run the strawberry feel I hated it. We’re in Oregon. Was this banks Oregon, at about three miles west of Portland. That’s it was a little town in it it’s growed since then since I was there, and I left there in nineteen fifty. So when you were left that was about the beginning of the Korean War. Yeah, it was. Yeah, and then. So what made you decide in the air force versus the city Army, Navy or otherwise? When I was a kid, used to listen to these radios about pilots and I always want to be a pilot. Yeah, but they didn’t tell me you had to have a college education. Yeah, holy at high school and I could never I never did fly. When I started printing, I love to do that, on printing presses, I found out that I was pretty good at it, so I went from there. The the rank of master sergeant comes up frequently as when I talked to especially officers, anybody that’s lieutenant or above, the constant story is how much they would lean on their master sergeants for knowledge of the men, knowledge of the team, what the the status of the other guys was you know how how efficient they were. They depended on us because we grew up with each rank and we knew what these people were doing because we did our show. And then see, oh usually commanded, he was in charge of a certain amount of people and that they had to do. He did it or get it done. He had people to do it, the officers. They didn’t have time to come down and take charge of that and see that the work got done because they had their own thing to do. Fly and in printing, we we had all the stuff to print, from doctors to medic clerk, typish. Well, everything ran back then, but this is before computers, so everything was done by paper. Now the computers touck over that and I don’t think the even have printing presses in there in the military anyway. Probably not. So you went from you were stationed in Japan and then into Vietnam. What years were you in Vietnam? See, hundred, seventy two, so you’re coming right at the end. Yeah, of the Vietnam ever. Got Out of there just in time. There’s a lot of things happened that wasn’t good. After I left. That had to be an unusual time because you were I mean if things were continuing to deteriorate in the early s, the NVA was continuing to work its way south. We were, as a country, already starting to peel back to I think you know our efforts in Vietnam. I mean what was the what was the morale? I guess in this is what you’re dealing with. You know, of the men and women that were there, they wanted had to come home. Most of US felt that we had no business being there. Yeah, and the Vietnamese did. On was there. Most of them didn’t care if North Vietnamese took over, but we stopped them. I didn’t have they do with it, but but their infantry did. The fighting men went out there and follow them and fought them back. So what’s The you’re saying? What would be the most enjoyable time or the Times that you look back on with with good memories while you were in the military, where? I had my wife and family with me when I was in Japan and we got acquainted with some some real nice Japanese people. Yeah, my daughters. I had had three daughters. Since then I’ve lost me the oldest daughter and my wife. September I lost her. Will still have two daughters, but what are their names? Gems the oldest one, and Robin as a youngest one, and they’re both married and both grand grandparents. They they enjoy the Japan. They got acquainted with a lot of Japanese kids. Tell me how you got here to Patriots Lanic. My wife, we lived in the Lakewood for since seventy seven and we moved here in sixteen and she fell and broke broker buster hip and fd operation everything. She wasn’t care. We should the house. My daughters wanted us to live somewhere we wouldn’t have to do work or move the lawn, you know, take care. So they figured they found this place and moved us in here and it’s been good. It’s been they’ve got everything we need. The common theme I hear from people is how comfortable they are. Yeah, here and they got everything you need. Fantastic, good years, bushes of Tak you budget anywhere you want to go. Master sergeant, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate you telling your story and we appreciate learning more about the the veterans here at Patriots landing. This has been a special honoring veterans. Presentation of answers for elders, brought to you by carriage. For more information about carriage, the website is sere agecom


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Originally published January 27, 2018

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