Conway Vietnam Veteran Recognized

John Edmond Ross Sr

Arkansas U.S.Senator John Boozman recognized John Edmond Ross Sr., a Vietnam War veteran who now lives in Conway, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series commemorating the military service of Arkansans.

Ross grew up in Kansas during the Great Depression. He was working for Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita when he went to the draft board. “They told me I would probably be next month’s pick,” Ross said. Shortly after this meeting, he was inspired by the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie “Jumping Jacks” about Army paratroopers. “The sergeant was all enthused. He hadn’t recruited a paratrooper in some time and he was telling me how glamorous it was going to be,” Ross said.

It was months before he would experience excitement as a paratrooper. First he had to endure basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and kitchen police duties which included what Ross calls “the filthiest job”cleaning out the grease traps. Once his eight weeks of basic were completed, he learned that he would have to continue his training before Airborne School because there were no spaces available for new students.    MORE

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