Local veterans share stories at Veterans Museums’ prayer service

Jacob Smith • Oct 27, 2017 at 4:32 PM

Three local veterans shared their testimonies and stories at the Wilson County Veterans Museums’ first prayer service Friday morning.

World War II veteran Max Anderson told of how he felt God guided him throughout his military career.

Anderson was 8 years old when Charles Lindbergh became the first person to make a solo transatlantic flight, and Lindbergh was his hero.

“In those days, the young boys, it seemed like, had heroes, and Lindbergh was mine,” said Anderson.”

Anderson started to learn how to fly when he went to work at a machine shop, where he found a flight instructor who taught him for cheap.

When the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, Anderson was in the middle of a flight, and he didn’t find out about it until after he landed.

“A lot of my friends enlisted right away,” said Anderson. “I was still working at the machine shop until one day, a Navy recruiter came through, and I passed the test for the navigation program.”

From there, Anderson said he felt God guided his military assignments, as he met his now wife of 73 years on a military assignment.

Former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe talked about his experiences in Vietnam.

According to Ashe, he was part of a team that was almost totally wiped out on a deployment during the war. Several soldiers were killed right in front of Ashe. North Vietnamese soldiers came up to Ashe after two of his comrades were killed and passed over him, because they thought he was dead.

Ashe said the experience helped to confirm his faith in God.

“At that point in time, you don’t have to challenge your faith,” said Ashe. “At that point in time, God either has his hand on you or he does not have his hand on you. What I want you to take away today is that every veteran has a story like this.”

Col. Jack Usrey served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Usrey shared not one personal story, but several stories of people he met during his service.

The stories were emotional for Ursey as he knew each of the men and women who served, and he started to tear up as he told them.

“When you watch TV, and you think our nation is messed up, it’s not,” said Ursey. “We’ve got some great men and women out there.”

Saturday at the Veterans Museum

The Tennessee Military Collector’s Association will hold a show Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Wilson County Veterans Museum.

The event is free and open to the public.

The TMCA is an organization of hobbyists who collect, trade and sell historical military artifacts and memorabilia. Members’ interests cover a wide field representing every war and nation involved with the United States from the Civil War through Operation Desert Storm.

According to museum project supervisor and Wilson County Commissioner Jerry McFarland, the group has hundreds of priceless items, including a gun seized from Adolf Hitler’s headquarters at the end of World War II.

For more information on the Tennessee Military Collector’s Association, visit tmcaonline.org. 

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