Menu
Tips for painting your house

Tips for painting your house

Painting the outside of y...

Deeanna Golden – teaching from the heart

Deeanna Golden – teaching from the …

Deeanna Golden is a veter...

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office relocating due to damage

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office rel…

In a called meeting of th...

Voters turn out in record numbers to cast their ballots

Voters turn out in record numbers t…

Although Jackson County w...

How to replace damaged eave fascia boards

How to replace damaged eave fascia …

The eaves on a house are ...

Davie Police going above serving and protecting

Davie Police going above serving an…

Jackson County has truly ...

Jackson County Mayors have answers for ‘Michael’

Jackson County Mayors have answers …

Storms come and go, espec...

Blessing of the Fire Engine

Blessing of the Fire Engine

The community gathered la...

4 Tips to deal with mold after a hurricane

4 Tips to deal with mold after a hu…

Residents returning home ...

Commissioners declare state of emergency in light of Hurricane Michael

Commissioners declare state of emer…

The Jackson County Commis...

Prev Next
Maria Williams

Maria Williams

Website URL:

June 2nd Paying Utilities Online Goes Live

One Monday June 2nd at 8:00 a.m. residents of the City of Marianna will have their first opportunity to pay their utility bill (water, garbage, sewer, and natural gas) online. Persons will now also be able to pay by debit or credit (credit being only by Visa or MasterCard) if you opt to come in to City Hall to pay your statement. But with the new system persons will now also be able to pay their utility bill without coming in to the office. At this time, this online form of payment will strictly only be available for your utility bill payment. No miscellaneous projects will be payable through this method, but may become available in the future. For example if a person were to be on vacation and realize that they have forgotten to pay their utility bill they can either call the City of Marianna and give them their debit or credit card number over the phone, or they can pay that bill by going online. The City of Marianna will absorb any credit card fees for the first year.

A person can sign up for paperless billing and get an email that says their bill is available online to pay. Other nice features that will be made available to them by going online will be that they will now have access to be able to view and print out their past consumption and past utility bills. Going paperless will not only cut down on cost but also on different forms of postage and aid in saving the environment.

Persons will need to log onto www.cityofmarianna.com and click the link on the right to pay. The first time that a person goes online the city will not be able to make the selection of paperless for them. They will have to select that themselves, when they are prompted to do so. When initially setting up an account persons will also need a copy of their bill and their debit or credit card in order to be able to set up the steps. For the month of June only if a customer chooses to go paperless they will receive a onetime $20.00 dollar credit on their utility bill. That credit will be reflected on the customers July utility statement.

Jackson County Roads

The Governor’s office has announced that Jackson County has been designated for federal assistance due to the months of rain and rising waters it received. FEMA representatives assessed personal properties and now help will be on its way. Residents who have been voicing their concerns about the damages have been heard. Families and individuals will be provided with Individual Assistance through the designation. The State and County have worked steadily for the past several weeks to increase the awareness to the government of the needs that have been created due to the water damage in the area.

To receive the assistance that has been approved residents of Jackson County with damage must register with FEMA online. Once those who have been affected have registered, online, the county will set up a Disaster Recovery Center at the fairgrounds on Highway 90 in Marianna. From there FEMA will then look over resident’s information and losses and decide on the refunds.

“Currently, 179 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $7,612,100 for affected survivors,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East of Atlanta. “We are pleased to get these loans approved so residents in the disaster area can start to rebuild and resume their normal lives. I encourage anyone who has not submitted an SBA disaster loan application to do so as quickly as possible.” The disaster declaration now covers Jackson County Florida. The SBA’s disaster declaration was amended making low-interest loans available to more impacted individuals and businesses.

Randy Ward stated that many of the county school busses had to be rerouted due to the inundation of rain a couple of weeks ago. A number of routes had to be detoured because quit a few roads are still closed or impassable. He said that now sometimes a bus driver can go to pick up a child but they can’t turn around. There has been a lot of cooperation between the bus drivers and the parents to get the permissions they have needed. Both parties have taken a lot into consideration during this time. It’s ever changing because of how many roads there are.

If you have suffered damages due to the excessive rain that fell a couple weeks back to possibly receive assistance you must register for that assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov. To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Survivors may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Roads Closed in Jackson County: Baker Creek Road at the bridge –Underwater, Bevis Road –Underwater, Birchwood Road –Underwater between Raylene Road and Express Road and from Church Street to Hwy 69, Biscayne Road –Underwater between Sunlight Road and Snowhill Road, Brushey Pond Road –Underwater from Betty Road to Hwy 69, Carefree Road –Underwater, City Square Road –Washed Out between Lakepoint Road and Hwy 231, Cloud Road –Underwater and Wash Outs, Colorado Road Washed Out 1 Lane Passable, Cox Road –Underwater, Dellwood Cypress Road –Underwater between Americus Road and Reddoch, Dipper Road –Washed Out from Scott Church Road to Fairview Road, Dowling Road –Underwater, Dry Creek Road at Iron Bridge Road, Fish Hatchery Road –Underwater, Gemstone Road –Underwater, Green Road –Underwater, Klondike Road –Underwater, Mayhill Road –Underwater, New Bridge Road –Underwater, Oak Grove Road –Underwater, Sand Basin Road – Underwater South of Munford Road, Sandridge Church Road from Butler Road to Salem Church Road and NO TRUCKS North of Gilley Road to Salem Church Road, Shores Road –Washed Out, Sinai Road –Underwater between Joyner Road and Blueberry Road, Skyview Road –Underwater from Clearmont Road west to top of hill, Snowhill Road –Underwater, Solar Road –Washed Out at crosspipe, Wallace Road –Washed Out from Hwy 231 to Lakepoint Road, Weddington Road –Underwater from Alderman Road to El Bethel Church Road.

Roads Open but Use Extreme Caution: 3rd Ave (MAL), Austin Lane, Bateau Pond Road West of Long Pond Road Detour by Long Pond Road, Betty Road between Brushy Pond and Old Spanish Trail, Cecil Road, Chason Road, Chevy Lane, Darby Lane, Fairview Road, Glass Road, Golden Road, Grissett Road, Hwy 162 East of Waddell Mill Lane, Jessie Lane, June Road from Durham to county line washed out, Kimbell Road, Maddox Road at bridge South of Hasty Pond, McCormick Road between creek and West of Maddox Road, Mill Road between Hwy 231 and Gardenview Road, Morris Road, Mulberry Road, Neel Road, Ocheesee Landing Road, Pilgrim Rest Church Road, Pittman Hill Road from ¼ mile South of Hasty Pond Road, Pondview Lane, Prairieview Road, Reedy Creek Road, Selma Drive washed out, Spiral Lane only one lane open, Sunrise Drive, Welcome Church Road, Winter Lane off Snowhill Road.

Tales of Iwo Jima

Profiles of Courage Sponsored by Rahal-Miller

Fred-as-a-WWII-Third-Division-MarineFred as a WWII Third Division MarineFred Kienzle is an 89 year old World War II veteran who served in heavy combat in the South Pacific, including landing on Iwo Jima. Fred is a resident of Jackson County, Florida. This is Fred's personal story about his service to his country as revealed to the TIMES.

Fred's mother's parents were from Germany. Their last name was Fredriech and he was named in honor of them, Frederick. Fred's Grandfather Fredriech worked in the Brass Mill in East Pittsburg. Fred was told the reason his Fredriech grandparents moved to America from Germany was the Black Plague that was devastating Germany and the harsh living conditions they had to endure. His grandmother had given birth to approximately twenty children. Many mornings his grandparents would find some of their children dead. They would take their children's bodies to the sidewalk and the horse drawn hearse would pick them up. His grandparent's household wasn't the only one affected by the Black Plague. All families in the area were affected. After their Black Plague experiences they decided to change locations and live in America.

When Fred was a little child, around toddler age, his Grandmother Fredriech would let him meet his Grandfather Fredriech as he was getting off of the street car after work in a Pittsburg mill. When he and his grandfather would meet up, his grandfather would let Fred have something out of his tin lunchbox. His grandmother made his grandfather's lunch for him and he would always save Fred a cookie or a piece of fruit. His grandfather would have him reach in and get the treat out of the lunch box.

His grandfather always wore a big heavy overcoat. Fred's grandmother would peel all of his grandfather's clothes off. Every layer would be stuck to him because he would be drenched with sweat. Then she would draw him a bath. After bathing he would go down the street to a horse drawn wagon containing a beer barrel and would buy a much deserved beer. His grandparents would sit on the swing and Fred a little rocking chair. One day as Fred met his grandfather he noticed he had something in his coat pocket. Fred was accustomed to his grandfather giving him treats so Fred looked up at his grandfather and kind of hit his grandfather's coat pocket with the back of his hand. Fred's grandfather said "Sweety, don't hit there" and reached inside his coat pocket. Fred's grandfather had brought Fred a puppy. Sadly, Fred's wonderful grandfather would die at the young age of 51. But his Grandfather Fredriech had instilled in Fred the love of dogs. Fred says he can't imagine life without a dog.

Fred would know his Fredriech side of the family best. His father's side was prominent in the community and he would only see them around his grandparent's dinner table after Sunday morning services. They owned a bakery, and ran the prominent bakery for years and years in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The last time Fred was there it was still in operation, but was owned by different people.

His best friend growing up, Charles Meade, was inducted at the beginning of the war in 1941. Fred and Charles were very close. Charles had been in the C.C.C. or Civilian Conservation Corp and then joined the Marine Corps. Charles was a Pittsburg boy like Fred. They lost touch and Fred never knew if Charles was taken down in battle or if Charles survived. Charles was like a real brother to him, since Fred was an only child. Fred said the fact that Charles joined the Marine Corps was instrumental in his wanting to join the war effort as well.

Freds-Dad-and-Mom-named-Fred-and-ElizabethFreds Parents, Fred and ElizabethFred would have enlisted in 1941 if he had been old enough. Even after Fred turned seventeen he still had a hard time getting into the Marine Corps due to his weight. He had never been a big guy. The Marine Corps recruiter advised him to go eat a dozen bananas. When he did, he came back and he was still three pounds shy of the weight requirement. It took him three days of heavy eating to get in to the Marine Corps. Fred also had a difficult time getting his mother and father to sign his release form. First he had to win over his mother, and then Fred had her win over his father so he would sign. Finally they went along with it.

During the interview with the TIMES he said, "To be honest with you, I wouldn't do it again..... I don't know, maybe I would, it would depend on the circumstances." His thinking at that time, and his sales pitch to his parents, was that he knew sooner or later he would be drafted. And if he was to be drafted in the Army and sent to Europe the chances were greater that he would be killed. In the Marine Corps if he didn't survive, his parents would at least know he was able to do what he wanted before he died.

Fred joined the Marines on September 10, 1942, as the war raged in Europe. After boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina he was sent to New River at Camp LeJune. After Fred left South Carolina he boarded a troop train. The U.S. was establishing the Third Marine Division which would be made up of raw recruits. The U.S. then sent them all to California. They landed in San Diego and waited until they could expand their numbers. They were in San Diego which was the staging area. Fred estimates there were probably seven to twelve thousand Marines there at that time. Finally they boarded a cruise ship that the military had repainted grey so it wouldn't be as visible on the ocean. Fred said the cruise ship still had luxurious amenities, including the chandeliers still inside. When they all boarded the cruise ship it was jammed full. When the ship would change speed Fred would wake up every time. After leaving California they stopped off at Pearl Harbor for a very short period of time. During the early hours of the morning the ship stopped and they unloaded a couple hundred female Navy nurses. Then they left and went back to sea. Fred said it was strange to be confined to the ship and then find out there had been female nurses on board.

The next stop was the Island of American Samoa at Pago Pago Harbor. The ship was capable of pulling up and unloading there. They broke up the division at Pago Pago. The divisions were broken into an artillery battalion, construction battalion, and an infantry battalion. The ship then left and went to New Zealand. The U.S. was afraid the Japanese would land on Australia or New Zealand. Had the Japanese attempted it Fred feels the Japanese would have been totally successful.

They were on Samoa for four months. The purpose was to train them for jungle warfare. Samoa was similar to the other Pacific Islands where the United States would soon be involved in conflicts. The instructors were from the First Marine Division and they had already been there and fought. They gave wise advice. It was up to the trainees to accept the advice. To this day there is much respect for the First Marine Division because they did such a fabulous job there.

Finally they left Samoa and went to Guadalcanal. The First Division had been relieved from Guadalcanal. They had been successful in taking the island from the occupying Japanese. Parts of the island were still Japanese infested. The U.S. Army was put in place to keep the Japanese from reoccupying. Fred's group went in as a security force to make sure the Japanese wouldn't come back out of the woods. Fred was stationed there for a little over a year, much longer than they had ever anticipated.

The South Pacific had a change of command during that period of time. MacArthur had now been appointed to be over the South Pacific by the Commander in Chief. After that year in November they landed on the Solomon Islands. Fred and his group entered Emperor Augustus Bay. It was nothing more than a channel that separated two islands. They landed at Bouganville on November 1st and they would to be there 45 days. After taking enough land, it enabled the CBs, the Naval Construction Battalion, to put in an air strip. They were successful in completing the air field in the 45 days. Fred and the group went back to the beach and awaited troop transport to enable them to again board and go back to Guadalcanal on Higgins boats.

Major "Pappy" Boyington's Black Sheep flight group was coming back and they were making loop the loops in the sky. Fred and his group were watching this from the beach as they waited for the Higgins boats. There were about 14 in the group waiting on the beach. The 14 got up and went to the air strip to watch them perform. Fred said, "He and the boys had never seen nothing like this before." On the way to the strip they were debating amongst themselves what those type of loop the loops might mean. One assumption was maybe the Blacksheep are happy is why they are making those loop the loops. Then they assumed maybe it's a sign that the U.S. is winning.

The 14 boys went to the air strip as the Blacksheep were landing and parking. These were Marine pilots they were witnessing. They had gone into the Marine Corps just to be pilots. The Black Sheep squadron was rumored to be some sort of outcasts. They were a crazy bunch; there were 40 or 50 of them.

Pappy Boyington was their commander and he was missing on his return flight. He became a prisoner of the Japanese. He was supposed to communicate with the flight, and they knew he was running out of fuel and wanting to land. They knew, because of the time, that he had been captured. The Black Sheep Flight looked upon the 14 boys and said with excitement and joy, "Oh my God, we got a bunch of Mud Marines here and they are speaking to us and shaking our hands. What do you know?" It was a mutual excitement and interesting moment that lasted about 30 minutes. They learned from the flyers that they were emotionally upset because their leader had been shot down. Their leader Pappy Boyington had become an ace at shooting down the Japanese fighter planes. That was the first time that Fred was that close to a marine aircraft pilot or a fighting plane.

Then the Higgins boats were sent in to the 14 and they were all taken back to the ship and to Guadalcanal. They stayed there until April to allow time to build back their numbers with replacements.

Until that time the Second Division was engaged with the Japanese at the Marianas Islands, Saipan, and Tinian. From there they left Guadalcanal and arrived Guam on June 6th. Guam was to be the first offensive action taken by America to recapture land that was taken from us on December 7, 1941. Guam was an American held and controlled Island that had a hospital and a CocaCola plant. While they were on Guam the U.S. almost lost it, because the Japanese had regrouped. Fred and his force stopped the Japanese advancement on the outskirts of the Guam capital at Agana, a well established and populated city that had an electric power plant and a U.S. hospital. Fred's group stopped at the outskirts and set up megaphone speakers trying to encourage the Japanese to surrender the city instead of resisting and having it destroyed. The Japanese refused. Fred's group allowed the Japanese time to evacuate the city and to move back into the hills. Then Fred's Marine division moved forward again and pushed them back into the outlying islands.

The Japanese held native prisoners which were called Chamoros. Fred's group encouraged the Japanese to release these prisoners, women, and children so that his group could save as many lives as possible. Finally the Japanese bent to Fred's Marine division's request and the Japanese freed the people. It was far too many people for the Japanese to control.

The Japanese agreed to free the natives, and Fred's group allowed the natives to pass through their lines. His group continued to push the Japanese to the north. Eventually Fred's group had them to the point of being overtaken. Rather than be taken prisoner the Japanese committed suicide by jumping off the cliffs into the ocean, along with women and children. The story behind this occurring was broadcast by a Chamoro native named Tweet who was stationed there.

The Chamorans made tremendous efforts to keep Tweet alive. They hid Tweet and fed him. They suffered brutally at the hands of the Japanese in order to keep him from being captured. Finally he was free to come out of hiding when the Japanese jumped into the ocean. It was a disgrace for the Japanese to surrender. They threw their women and children off the cliff first, before throwing themselves off, this was to ensure the Japanese that all of them were killed, and they would know that none surrendered. Seeing the bodies at the base of the cliff was a harrowing sight for Fred to behold.

However a number of the Japanese hid in caves and in the mountains. It took the U.S. military units years to clean them all out and to finally feel they had removed them all. Fred and his group remained there on Guam for quite some time waiting for new orders. They didn't know where they were going next.

As it turned out they were on their way to Iwo Jima and one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific campaign. As they waited offshore the island was bombed and barraged with gunfire from the ships, almost everybody aboard Fred's ship was watching the island and commenting that if the Navy didn't stop bombing Iwo Jima that it was going to sink. It seemed impossible for anyone on the island to survive. However, when the landing began the troops coming ashore on Iwo Jima were met with tremendous fire power from the entrenched Japanese.
Fred went to shore as part of the 9th wave. He came ashore out of an L.S.T. which was carrying his 6x6 International truck. Fred was hauling an 18 ton operating room to be set up to care for the wounded. He was only able to get about 20 yards before the truck became bogged down due to the ash that makes up the terrain of Iwo Jima. He had to abandon the truck and head inland a short distance on foot and dig a fox hole. The fox hole became his first priority. Fred figured if he could make it into a foxhole he would be safer. Just after he ran from the truck it was hit and blown up. Fred was down the beach about 50 yards from the truck, where he wound up digging the foxhole for shelter.

The length of time spent in that fox hole was difficult for Fred to recall. But later that same day, while it was still daylight, the U.S. flag was raised on Iwo Jima. Seeing the raising of the U.S. flag was a tremendous experience. Fred and his group then knew that they were gaining control and winning the battle for the island. U.S. troops were symbolically at the top of the mountain looking down. There were two flags raised that day. The first flag that was raised was a common 3 foot by 5 foot flag like you would have in front of your house. The second flag was the large one from a Naval vessel and it was used to replace the first flag.

In a few days Fred and his group left Iwo Jima and went back to Guam. From Guam Fred was sent to his home town of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania for 30 days leave. Fred met his future wife was while back in the U.S. from the South Pacific on leave. Fred was reassigned to work at a prison where soldiers that had been captured as deserters had been sent to do time. The prison Fred worked at was called Disciplinarian Barracks. Now on a 30 day leave of absence from his job, Fred went on a double date with a buddy and that's when Fred met his wife to be. At the time he met her he wasn't sure if he was going to make the Marine Corps his career or not yet 

After Fred's 30 day leave ended Fred had orders to report back to the U.S. Naval Barracks. Fred was stationed at the Navy Barracks for a very short period of time. And then the war ended while he was stationed in Philadelphia. He said the war basically ended when we dropped the bomb. "You should have seen everyone state side. Philadelphia went crazy. America went crazy. It was amazing" he stated .Fred had served in the South Pacific 44 months after completing boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Back then when a person got their discharge, they felt like they were on a cloud. Thirty days after Fred met his wife he was ready to get married. They were married Thanksgiving Day. Fred said, "I guess you could say I was smitten with her. We were married for 66 years. We have two daughters, Robin Fulmer of Marianna and Donna Turner of the Villages."

Fred's father had a Gulf Oil Gasoline Station in the suburbs of Pittsburg. Prior to the war Fred also worked for Gulf Oil. His Mom worked in a bakers shop for a short time but was mostly a home maker. Fred was an only child. He would have had an older brother, who unfortunately died as a young baby.

In Fred's civilian life after the war he jumped from job to job. When he got married he went back to his first job at Gulf Oil Corporation in the city of Pittsburgh. He worked there two months. He quit and got a job with Pittsburgh Railways as a motorman. Fred worked there two or three years. Then his father had a stroke and was unable to return to work at the filling station he owned. Since Fred was the only child he and his wife decided to take over the Gulf Oil Station if his father would agree to Fred's terms. They operated the station for two and a half to three years. Then they decided to come to Florida in 1950. Fred drove an everglade green Mercury to Florida. He had already sent his parents to Florida for a 30 day vacation. While Fred's parents were on the vacation they told him they had decided to move to Florida. His parents had leased a gas station, located in West Palm Beach. Fred applied for a job with the Greyhound Bus Lines and stayed with Greyhound for 30 years, as a bus driver.

Fred had adjusted to the warm weather of the South Pacific. Everybody that knew him in Pittsburgh thought he was crazy for moving to Florida. They lived in West Palm 5 years, then St. Petersburg 5 years, and then Jacksonville 20 years. His eldest daughter's stomping grounds would be St. Petersburg and Jacksonville. His youngest daughter would know Jacksonville best. Fred and his wife then lived to Graceville for 6 or 7 years. From Graceville Fred and his wife moved to Nokomis. Fred had a good inner feeling for Nokomis, even though sometimes he wonders if they should have stayed in Jacksonville.

*Every division of the Marine Corps published a book depicting the history of that division. Each Marine is issued their particular division's book when they are discharged. Fred is very proud of what his unit accomplished as they defended our freedom in World War II. We can all be proud to have Fred residing in Jackson County.

Ken Godfrey, Vietnam Veteran

Profiles of Courage Sponsored by Rahal-Miller

Ken Godfrey's mother's parents were Leonard and Annie Jarmon. His Granddaddy Jarmon was a farmer and a hunter. His Grandmamma Jarmon was a homemaker. His father's parents were Dewey and Ethel Godfrey. His Grandfather Godfrey was a business man that ran his own construction company. His Grandmother Godfrey was also a homemaker. His Godfrey Grandparents were from St. Augustine IN Nassau County and were descendants of Florida pioneers. Ken's parents are Tommy and Estelle Godfrey of Jackson County.

Ken's Dad was a policeman. He died when Ken was 11 years old. Ken's Mom worked at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee part-time as a bookkeeper. Ken has three sisters, Linda, Mary Anne, and Cecelia. Ken is the third oldest child.

Ken graduated from Marianna High School and was enrolled at, and attending Chipola when the war was escalating in Vietnam. Ken was watching the news one day, and back then Vietnam consumed the news all the time, when he got an idea. Ken remembered that his Grandfather Dewey Godfrey had served his country in WWI, and his father Tommy Godfrey had served his country in WWII, so it was then that Ken decided that he wanted to do his part and join the Vietnam War effort. He had two deferrals that could have kept him from having to serve in Vietnam had he chosen not to serve. One, was that Ken was his immediate families sole survivor to carry on the family name. Two, was because he was going to Chipola with a student deferment.

So Ken went to the Post Office and told them that he wanted to enlist in the Marine Corps. He soon received instructions to go to Montgomery, Alabama to take a physical. Ken enlisted in December of 1967, and by the time his feet hit the ground in Paris Island South Carolina, Ken wondered if he had made a mistake. From Paris Island Marine Ken Godfrey was sent to Camp LaJune and placed in their advanced infantry training program. From there he was sent to a mountain climbing school in California at Camp Pendleton. Finally, Ken was sent across the pond for a distance of about 10,000 miles to Vietnam.

Ken said the Vietnamese culture in the mountainous region where he was stationed was different from the culture of the southern Vietnamese located in the rice paddies of the agricultural region. Where he was stationed, in the north, the native Vietnamese people had the Vietnamese complexion but had sharp French facial features and green or blue eyes. He said this was due to the French being in that part of the world previous to the Vietnam War. In southern regions of Vietnam, people predominately had Asian features.

Ken said that the Vietnamese culture in northern Vietnam where he was located farmers plowed their fields with water buffalo. The women would chew something called beetle nut to make their teeth look black. In their culture a woman was thought to be more beautiful, the blacker their teeth were. The farmers would have their children use the bathroom on the crops to fertilize them. The native people of Vietnam, called "Mountain Yard People", where pro American ,so they were also fighting the NVA and the Viet Cong. The NVA or North Vietnamese regular Army were enemy soldiers while the Viet Cong were enemy gorilla types that would slip in and slip out of wherever they were attacking.

Upon arriving in Vietnam Ken's group was assigned to different companies. Ken was assigned to the India Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, located in Quang Tri province just south of the demilitarized zone. This was a mountainous area of Vietnam, not far from Laos. Ken's unit would run "search and destroy" missions. All Marines were given a supply of Malaria pills and Halazone pills. The Malaria pill was due to the dense population of mosquitoes there, and the Halazone pill was used to purity water so that it could be drinkable. The Halazone pills would make the water taste really bad.

Ken's group basically ran search and destroy patrols attempting to find the enemy and make contact with them. The operational area where they were located was the I core of the Mountainous area of Vietnam.

The Marine troops would tour for 13 months, while the Army would tour for 12 months. Ken brought a declassified document in to the TIMES during these interviews. The document describes how Marines from Ken's group were killed in September 1968. Ken said that this declassified document just gives a person a glimpse of one day in the life of a marine in Vietnam. He said this was a description of what a Vietnam Marine would have called a "good" day. Most days were even worse than this particular day. The accounts of this day were from Captain Todd's daily log book. It was the Captain's job to log in everything that happened at the end of each day.

"The temperature was 125 degrees. India Company started receiving mortar rounds at 6:45 in the morning, so the Company called in airstrikes. CO I at co-ord XD855592 received 20 rounds incoming 60mm mortars from northwest. Returned mortar fire and arty, AO on station, directing fixed wing. Three friendly WIA. At 9:30 that morning the following would happen. Co I at co-ord XD855591 received eight short art 105mm rounds. Fired by Fox battery 2/12. Six friendly KIA NBC, 14 friendly WIA NBC. Then at 11:00 am the following happened. Co I at co-ord XD854591 received small arms fire, (rifle fire) and two command detonated DH-10 mines. Returned small arms, using gunships. (Hueys) Later at 6:45 at night the following happened. Co I at co-ord XD854592 after and intensive arty prep, fixed wing strike and gunship support secured the above position and searched area finding six bodies and nine NVA graves estimated to vary between one and five days old, with one to three bodies per grave, nine bunkers, 17 fighting holes, assorted 782 gear by demo. (This means ammo belts, cartridge belts, and canteens). Finally at 10:00 at night the following happened. Co L at co-ord XD864591 had three persons, (3 guys) with minor wounds that did not report themselves until now. They are all now med-evacs,. The Fox Battery was the ones that launched the rounds that killed the six with friendly fire and wounded the 14 that would have to be med-evacted. "

The following persons didn't make it out that day, they were all killed due to friendly fire: 1st Lt Douglas A. Paige of Baldwinsville, New York; (Paige died after the above report was logged in) LCpl John W. Stahl of Dayton, Ohio; Cpl Andrew T. Bukovinsky of Manhasset, New York; LCpl Larry L. Lower of Union City, Minnesota; LCpl Randall A. Olson of Moline, Illinois; LCpl Terry D. Ratliff of Atascadero, California; Pfc John A. Ruscito of Centereach, New York.

Ken said, "Everyday you would wake up to explosions and go to sleep to explosions. It was constant warfare." The military called the enemy, "gooks." He said the marines in Vietnam called Vietnam, "being in country" and the United States was called, "going back to the world."

Ken was taken out of Vietnam in 1968 and sent to NCO school at Camp Hansen in Okinawa. In Okinawa they prepared him to be a noncommissioned officer upon completion of the school. Then he was sent back to Vietnam. The U.S. assigned Ken's group to operation "Dewey Canyon", located in Ashau Valley.

Ken-Godfrey-bronze-starKen received a Bronze Star for his achievements during operation "Dewey Canyon". His United States Marine Corp Citation, also known as an accommodation, reads as follows: "For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving as a Squad Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division. On 12 February 1969, during Operation Dewey Canyon, Company I was advancing toward the crest of Hill 1280 in Quang Tri Province when the lead element came under intense fire from a company-sized enemy force occupying a well-concealed bunker complex. Reacting instantly, Lance Corporal Godfrey skillfully deployed his squad and directed them to deliver suppressive fire at the hostile positions. Fearlessly moving throughout the fire-swept terrain, he shouted instructions and encouragement to his men and effectively directed their fire upon the enemy. Although seriously wounded twice by the enemy small arms fire, Lance Corporal Godfrey resolutely maintained his position and, refusing medical attention, continued to direct his squad in their attempt to relieve the lead elements. His bold initiative and timely actions inspired all who observed him and contributed significantly to the defeat of the hostile force. Lance Corporal Godfrey's courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
Ken also received a Meritorious Accommodation, a Naval Accommodation, and he and the entire India Company received the Presidential Unit Accommodation for Operation Dewey Canyon.
He was first wounded by shrapnel September 28, 1968 and then wounded twice by gun shots February 12, 1969. Ken was med-evacted after the two gun shots. He was operated on in Vietnam and then again in Guam. Then he was finally sent to the hospital of the Naval Air station at Pensacola and then discharged from there, in June of 1969.

After Ken was discharged he returned to Jackson County and went back to Chipola on the old G.I. Bill. He then got a job with the Tallahassee Police Department where he worked for five years. Then Ken decided to come back home to Jackson County in 1974 and work for his father-in-law at Thrifts Department Store. Ken's father -in-law owned Thrifts and Daffin's department stores. Ken worked there for 4 years.

Finally, Ken took the civil service exam in Panama City. He was then hired in 1978 as a letter carrier at the post office in Marianna. Later, Ken got promoted to postmaster in Greenwood in 1987. He stayed in Greenwood for 9 years. Next, Ken was promoted in 1996 to Postmaster in Sneads, where he worked for 3 years. From there he became postmaster for Blountstown in 1999 and served that post for around 3 years. Next he took an assignment to be officer in charge in Defuniak Springs for 120 days. Finally, in 2002 he went to Graceville as postmaster and was there two years until he retired in 2004.

Ken said that after he retired he never looked back and never went back to visit. He only goes to a post office now for normal civilian purposes, like anyone else would do.

Ken farms now. He used to put on a lot of barrel races at his farm. Now he just trains a few roping horses and raises Simmental cows. Ken was appointed to be on the Board of Directors of the Cattlemen's Association in 1995.

Ken believes that it was his Jarmon side of the family that taught him to ride, rope, and hunt. Ken also enjoys coon hunting and deer hunting. He says he grew up coon hunting even though they would see mostly possums. Today, Ken has three black and tan coon dogs: Leroy, Chief, and Pocahontas.

Ken says that the Godfrey's lived away in St. Augustine and Tallahassee, while his Jarmon side lived right here in Jackson County. His Grandfather Godfrey wanted Ken to be a business man, but Ken thought and still thinks that it has been way more fun to experience the riding, roping, and hunting over the years that is a tradition from his Jarmon side of the family.

This is a story of a quiet, polite, unpretentious product of Jackson County who answered the call to service when he was needed by his country. During that service he displayed a love of country and a level of bravery and leadership that earned him well deserved military honors. We can all be proud of Ken Godfrey and the traditions he stands for.

We give a big "Rahal Miller Salute" this Veteran.

Subscribe to this RSS feed