The Terrace at Grove Park unveils Wall of Honor for Veterans Day

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Nov. 11, 2019 at 11:30 PM CST
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A Dothan retirement home made this Veterans Day a special one.

The Terrace at Grove Park added a Wall of Honor to commemorate the veterans that live there.

The staff held a ceremony to show off the wall.

There were 11 so far, each with their own story of lengthy military service.

The ceremony Monday was to thank those veterans, but also their spouses and family members that supported them.

For Colonel Gene Johnson, seeing a 22-year-old picture of himself brings back plenty of memories.

"I was a paper boy, and I was delivering papers,” said Retired Colonel Edwin “Gene” Johnson. “When I got the paper, I realized it had big lines, 'Invasion of the Korean Peninsula."

Colonel Edwin Gene Johnson's military career started not long after he delivered that paper.

At just 16, he joined the National Guard, and then went to auburn to train to become an officer.

His military career as a major, lieutenant colonel and ultimately colonel spanned several decades, but one memory - in Berlin - stands out the most.

"I saw the wall after they had started on it,” said Johnson.

Not only did Johnson see The Berlin Wall, but he was stationed in Germany when the wall came down.

"In my particular unit, they gave everyone a piece of The Berlin Wall, since we were there at the time," said Johnson.

Johnson saw that wall come down, and 30 years later, he is seeing a different wall go up.

The Wall of Honor at The Terrace at Grove Park, featuring pictures of him and his fellow veterans.

"What we're really coming together for today is to celebrate and honor our heroes,” said U.S. Army Major Chris MacFarland. “We're calling them veterans, but they are heroes. To our public and especially our youth right now, I hope they understand that veteran does mean hero."

Johnson obviously has plenty of memories from his time in the military.

Now The Terrace will have a way to honor and remember his service to the country.

"I'll be honest with you, I enjoyed mine,” said Johnson. “Got to go on a lot of good trips and see a lot of things that I hadn't earlier."

So far The Wall of Honor has 11 men on it, but The Terrace is hoping to add more as soon as they get pictures from other veterans who live there.

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