DEAR EDITOR:

This is to honor Mr. Henry Barton, a local African American war veteran who was born Dec. 9, 1920.

I think of Mr. Henry Barton often. Originally from Kingston, he resided in South Rome for many years. He then moved his family to West Rome. Mr. Henry is special to me. In the year 2000, God put it in my heart to do a Veterans Wall for the great city of Kingston and his was one of the first names I came across. I did the wall to honor all veterans, from World War I to the present date, and Mr. Henry Barton is the first name on the plaque.

Mr. Henry will be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. Our community should know this and should let him know that he is very much appreciated.

I knew of Mr. Henry and his family before I interviewed him for the Veterans Wall. I attended school with one of his sons, Harvey. There were five boys: Calvin, Jackie, Warren and Harvey, who reside in Rome, and Danny, who resides in Atlanta.

Mr. Henry served his country by way of the United States Army. Enlistment dates are July 15, 1942 — Dec. 19, 1945. He received the World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.

After serving his country, he worked on the L&N Railroad for several years. He was a clerk at L.D. Jolly Grocery store in Kingston. He helped build Battey State Hospital in Rome and later worked there as an orderly. He met his future wife there, Ms. Bertha “Reba” Hall from Barnesville. Ms. Reba was in a special program there. They first started training black women to be nurses. It later became Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital. She retired from there.

Mr. Henry went to work at then Georgia Kraft. He retired from there after 30 years. He had two brothers, Grady and Joseph, and three sisters. Georgia B. Hawkins and Hattie B. Pritchett are buried in Kingston with his brothers. His sister Jessie Buford is buried in Tennessee.

Mr. Henry lost the love of his life just a few months ago. This is to honor you, Mr. Henry Barton, and thank you for all you have done to protect me!

Nellie Margaret Harris Applin

Chair, Veterans Project of Kingston

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